If you need an addictive or psychedelic substance for a storyline, there's always one old standby: Make one up. This meshes perfectly with Speculative Fiction
, but would seem completely out of place in a realistic series. Alternatively, if it's a comedy, you could get away with I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin
instead. Otherwise you can resort to the potentially narmy G-Rated Drug
. Often can be the Spice of Life
. Not be confused (usually) with Psycho Serum
. For this trope IN SPACE
, see Alien Catnip
. Addictive Magic
is closely related.
Aside from a writer's hesitancy to show a beloved character using drugs, many viewers are surprised Media Watchdogs
often cracked down on any
depiction of drugs (even if they were negative) for many years. Lately it's been reduced to "heavily sanctioned" at best, creation the unfortunate irony that incorrect portrayal of the effect of drugs has made audiences more liable to dismiss the true effects of drugs as propoganda.
In Real Life
, these are known as "designer drugs", for people who want to get high without using technically illegal street drugs.
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Anime & Manga
- Code Geass has Refrain, which causes the user to relive their fondest memories, making it especially popular among the downtrodden Japanese. It's also rather important to the plot in several places.
- Serial Experiments Lain has Accela, a powerful nanomachine-powered stimulant that causes Accela Bullet Time, heightened senses, and delusional thoughts.
- It also seems to physically link the user into the Wired, and susceptible to its more esoteric phenomena.
- Cowboy Bebop has the Red Eye, a stimulant which is sprayed in the eye and grants incredibly fast reaction times and dissociation from reality.
- One episode of the classic Astro Boy has "Yellow Horse", an intravenous drug made from "Space Dust" that causes euphoria & compulsive dancing followed by horrible withdrawal pains. The gang that created it, the bizarre Phantom Club (a group of mostly space colonists dressed up in ridiculous ghost costumes), in typical over the top cartoon villain fashion, apparently intended to get the entire population of Earth addicted so they could take over the world.
- A wide variety of new drugs are available in the setting of Gunnm (AKA, Battle Angel Alita), as is typical of futuristic dystopias.
- An episode of Silent Möbius deals with a drug known as Dommel, which is a very powerful performance-enhancing drug... with a tendency to mutate its users into hideous monsters before dissolving into a puddle of goo. It's extracted from the body of an demon from another dimension.
- Similarly, Togainu No Chi has Line, which increases strength and reduces sanity.
- The Big Bad of the Fishman Island arc in One Piece uses this, as does his crew. It's called Energy Steroid, and taking one pill doubles your strength...but also shortens your life. We see the full effects at the end where they age from their prime to weak old men just hours after the battle.
- From the Punk Hazard arc, we also have NHC10, a highly addictive stimulant drug. It can be used as medicine, but only selected doctors in selected countries are allowed to use it. It only takes a small daily amount of it to be addicted, and its short-time withdrawal symptoms are pain and increased aggressivity. It's dangerous to the point that the characters who were shown to be addicted to it were writhing on the ground in agony, before going completely apeshit and attacking Luffy. Oh, and said addicted characters were kidnapped children who were experimented on by the Big Bad of the arc.
- Watchmen had 'Katies' (from KT-28, possibly a derivative of Ketamine), a type of drug often used by the Top-Knot gangs. It should be noted that this was not so much about avoiding naming real life drugs, but establishing that culture was divergent in this reality given the influence of Dr. Manhattan. Ordinary drugs such as marijuana and cocaine are also mentioned.
- ElfQuest has "dreamberries".
- In the Russian version they called "Drunkberries".
- The Batman comics give us "Venom", a highly addictive "super-steroid" which gives the user incredible strength, alertness, and agility temporarily. When first introduced, Batman himself is using it as a way to cope with his imperfections. He soon realizes he's made a terrible mistake, and must endure a horrific withdrawal before returning to normal. But Venom is most famous as the power source of Batman's enemy Bane, who wears a tank full of the stuff with tubes hooked up to his veins, giving him a constant, steady dose of Venom. The result is that he's incredibly strong (so much so that he once broke Batman's back...he got better) but totally dependent on the stuff, and Azrael eventually beat him by cutting off his supply.
- In Batman Beyond a future version of Bane appears; he's now an incredibly frail invalid, his body utterly ruined by years of Venom abuse. The drug, on the other hand, had been put on the street as a performance enhancer, in convenient transdermal patches.
- Marvel has Mutant Growth Hormone, or MGH. It induces a temporary genetic shift in the user, giving them superpowers. It also fucks you up good.
- In Judge Dredd, there is a drug to give immortality to humans made by killing and harvesting glands of a sentient alien race, The Stookies, that have heart attacks at the slightest things (similar to fainting goats). Naturally, stookie glanding is completely illegal and people who deal in it are dealt with in Dredd's normal manner (most of them wind up dead). So do most of the Stookies he's trying to save. Stookie glands are so addictive, that the symptoms of coming off them involves rapid ageing.
- In Flash and Teen Titans, one of Vandal Savage's businesses is selling Velocity-9, a drug that gives the users superspeed. And then they burn out and die.
- D.M.N. in the Superman titles is a drug that turns the user into a demon. It was created by Lord Satanus.
- Adam Warren's Dirty Pair universe has several fantastic drugs, this being the future filled with transhuman technology. Wardrugs are (possibly) implanted applicators that inject a tranquilizing cocktail into the blood after a serious injury. Kei gets her leg half blown off, and starts 'glanding' wardrugs immediately, which makes her pretty loopy. There is also a chemweapon called 'Proust-in-a-Can', which places the victim into a coma while they are locked into re-experiencing a distant memory.
- Since Transmetropolitan is basically the adventures of Hunter S. Thompson Twenty Minutes into the Future, there are several "future drugs" that protagonist Spider Jerusalem ingests injects and generally crams into every orifice. As noted in the Quotes section, among these is Mechanics, a nanotech drug that slowly turns your body into a cyborg system that turns addiction into a protocol.
- When Spider moves into an apartment, he finds his appliances are drug addicts. Someone went to the trouble of developing a drug that an AI can have plugged into its mainframe. (Those Cool Shades? The Maker was high at the time.)
- The Invisibles has the "Key" series of drugs (Key 17, Key 23) that cause people to hallucinate and mistake words for the thing they describe. Having been told he was infected with a flesh-eating virus, someone is tortured by being shown a hand mirror with a post-it saying "diseased face"; a villain drops to her knees, sobbing with regret and begging forgiveness in front of a "world's greatest dad" mug; and one of the Big Bads explodes when a flag-gun saying "Bang!" unfurls in front of him.
- Marvel's 2099 line of comics in the early-to-mid '90s had quite a few examples of this:
- Rapture was a legal designer drug developed by (and exclusive to) the Alchemax corporation that would be distributed to employees in order to keep them loyal to the company. A "very high-powered, mind-expanding hallucinogen," it causes the user to feel perfectly calm and collected ... unless he tries to fight the drug's effects, in which case it causes him to hallucinate wildly, "seeing monsters everywhere." It also bonds with the user's DNA in short order, becoming so addictive "you need it the way you need air to breathe." Geneticist Miguel O'Hara, who would become the Spider-Man of 2099, was slipped the drug by his boss when Miguel tried to quit the company. He tried to rid his system of Rapture by rewriting his own genetic code using a stored file of his genome which he'd been using for experiments. Things didn't go as planned, and Miguel ended up with spidery traits in his DNA as a result.
- A similar drug, Rhapsody, was mentioned in an issue of X-Men 2099, in which it was revealed that the Synthia corporation secretly laced its food products with the drug, so that consumers would become addicted to eating Synthia food, at the expense of their health.
- Chameleon 2099 turned out to be a drug rather than a person, which not only manipulated a user's DNA, it allowed him to shapeshift (either partially or completely) into whatever animal happened to suit the user's mindset at the time of taking the drug. Users have been seen assuming the characteristics of animals like bulls, mice, felines, and dogs. It was an Alchemax-designed drug, but "unstable even by their standards" to the point that users often die painfully from the toll it takes on their systems.
- Chain is one of the most illegal of drugs in that era. In 2099 A.D. Genesis, it was revealed that the legislation on Chain had been upgraded from a "thirty-year stretch" (being physically aged by three decades) for possession to a "death penalty" for even having it on one's person. In his only appearance in the 2099 comics, the Daredevil of that era planted a dime bag of Chain on a drug dealer just to make sure the dealer never pushes drugs again. At the time, the dealer had been peddling a drug laced with "a rider chemical" that "causes communicable sterility". In short, Daredevil signed a drug dealer's death warrant for trying to "kill all birth in Downtown."
- Perhaps the most bizarre example was found in X-Nation #1. The main characters, a group of teenagers living at the Xavier Institute for Indigent Children, had slipped away to a bar and try a unique hallucinogen: milk. They attached diodes to their foreheads; drinking milk stimulated their brains into producing bizarre hallucinations. But as one of them insisted, "'s really good f'r your bones an' teeeeeth."
- A shot of "buz", from an early issue of Cerebus, is one hundred percent addictive and provides all the nutrition an adult needs in one day. A villain uses it to subjugate and rule his entire city.
- Taduki from the Allan Quartermain novels (see below) also features in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in which it's a thinly disguised version of opium, and Allan is hooked on it. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1969 will apparently have the drug of choice in Swinging London as "Tadukic Acid" instead of LSD.
- Top 10 has drugs that induce super speed and give hallucinations that other people can see.
- So numerous in American Flagg that the Comic Book Drug Reference has a separate appendix dedicated to fictional drugs appearing in the series.
- In the "Five Years Later" version of Legion of Super-heroes, a character is revealed to be taking ProFem, a drug that turns men into women, but the change is only maintained if the drug is taken regularly.
- Robocop 2 has "Nuke," which is "injected" via disposable eyedrop vials. There was pretty much a Cult based around the drug.
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones had death sticks, something which the writers of the Holonet News promo had some fun with. The Expanded Universe featured harder drugs such as ryll and glitterstim (which was, incidentally, the "spice" that Han used to smuggle for Jabba the Hutt).
- Graverobber, the Loveable Rogue of Repo! The Genetic Opera, peddles Zydrate, a highly addictive painkiller manufactured from corpses.
- An alternative interpretation is that what Graverobber is actually doing is extracting residual Zydrate from the corpses.
- In 9, Big Guy 8 is at one point seen holding a magnet over his head, making his eyes go all fuzzy in a Does This Remind You of Anything? way; presumably it messes up the electronics in his head.
- Similarly, a deleted scene from Buckaroo Banzai establishes that the Red Lectroids get a narcotic effect from sucking on dry cell batteries.
- The "So Beautiful, So Dangerous" segment of Heavy Metal shows two alien starship pilots getting wasted on a white powder they identify as "plutonium nyborg" and then flying home utterly stoned. "NOSEDIVE!"
- Played with in Transformers when a police detective accuses Sam of partaking in "mojo", which he assumes is a designer drug. "Mojo" is the name of the family's chihuahua, and the drugs are said dog's painkillers.
- Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man has Crystal Dream "...what it is, you don't shoot it, you don't smoke it, you don't snort it. Apparently, you put it in your eyes, and it tells you lies."
- The main plot of Dredd involves stopping the distribution of a new street drug called "Slo-Mo" which causes the user to experience time at a fraction of its normal speed.
- A Clockwork Orange features "Moloko Plus", milk mixed with a variety of subtances including "synthomesc" (presumably mescaline or a close analogue) and "vellocet".
- Minority Report has "neuroin," dispensed from futuristic inhalers.
- Looper features an unnamed designer drug administered via eye drops. It appears to cause awful withdrawal symptoms.
- In addition to the drugs mentioned under Literature, Red Dwarf the series also has Outrazone (prounced vaguely like "ultrazone" in a mock-Canadian accent), a chemical gunk that is apparently marijuana for mechanoids.
- A second season episode mentions a powerful hallucinogenic mushroom species native to Titan (one of the moons of Saturn).
- Apparently, by the time before Arnold Rimmer caused Red Dwarf's fatal accident, humanity had learned to create a form of gin out of marijuana. They called it Marijuana Gin.
- In Smallville, red kryptonite is Clark's personal drug, having almost destroyed his life several times over.
- Shows up in Battlestar Galactica, where Laura Roslin's use of the drug "chamalla" has elements of morphine, heroin and marijuana, including painful withdrawal, hallucinations, and its use as a painkiller rather than actually affecting the disease she's taking it for. Similarly, several of the pilots find themselves obligated to use "stims" (the all-purpose sci-fi version of amphetamine) to keep up with their round-the-clock responsibilities, and suffer severe physical and emotional damage as a result.
- There was also a plant on New Caprica that was made into cigarettes that was smoked by Adama and Roslin, among others. From the way the effects were described, and that they already had an equivalent plant to Earth tobacco, is was assumed by many to be some form of cannabis. (They also referred to it as New Caprica weed!!)
- "Stims" were used before Galactica, in Babylon 5, with similar realistic effect. The abusing character, Dr. Franklin (yes, a medical doctor), starts out simply using them as necessary to keep up with his work, then grows addicted, almost kills a patient, gets investigated by Security Chief Garibaldi (a recovering alcoholic who knows whereof he speaks), leaves his job, suffers withdrawal, and eventually almost dies in an attempt to "find himself." Garibaldi falls off the wagon once or twice, too, but only with conventional Earth alcohol...
- There's also "Dust", a substance that grants telepathy to "mundanes" (non-Telepaths); this is used to take somebody else's thoughts for a spin. G'Kar gets his hands on some and tries using it on Londo; he realized halfway through that this was wrong, and got enlightenment in the process.
- Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer focuses quite a bit on Willow's addiction to casting magic spells.
- Season 5 has vampires feeding on drug-using humans-including Buffy's boyfriend Riley. It may or may not be the Orpheus from Angel.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Game". A really lame video game with the power to seduce the entire crew's brains, to the point of unthinking loyalty to the game's creators, leaving the Creator's Pet and some-girl-we've-never-seen-before to save the day.
- TNG also came up with synthehol, a justified version of this trope. It's a replacement for alcohol in beverages that can (apparently) be flushed from the system quite rapidly if you're called back to duty while in Ten Forward. The science book Life Signs: The Biology of Star Trek went so far as to figure a way how it could work: broken down by adrenaline when Red Alert sounds.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Jem'Hadar are addicted to the milky substance ketracel white so much that they die without it.
- It's not just an addictive drug, it's their only means of nourishment past puberty.
- In The Secret Circle, The concoction Nick and Faye were taking in Episode 2. Magic itself could also count.
- "Medallion" introduces us to a magical "enhancer" called Devil's Spirit.
- In True Blood (and the original books The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries) vampires' blood, a.k.a. V-blood, V-juice, or V, is apparently more fun than every other recreational drug ever. It also increases the libido, the senses, and gives limited Super Strength. It even has medicinal value for those who are wounded. Too bad vampires as a whole don't take kindly to the commoditization of their life essence.
- It also creates adverse withdrawal symptoms if one gets addicted. In True Blood, Jason's went static, and he became more aggressive and desperate. It also gave him a boner from hell when he overdosed on it, and had to have the blood painfully removed from his penis.
- Don't forget that taking the stuff will create a mystical bond between the user and the vampire it came from, allowing them to feel each others emotions, making the user sexually attracted to the vampire in question, and at least to an extent allowing the vampire to keep track of the user, though the extent of how well this works is unclear.
- Angel has Orpheus, a drug which vampires take by drinking the blood of a human who's injected it.
- Several episodes of Robocop The Series.
- Lexx called its Fantastic Marijuana "gongslanger root".
- Vraxoin in the Doctor Who story Nightmare of Eden.
- One New Who episode dealing with a future Earth had drug-ified emotions. The invention of a "Bliss" drug led to the collapse of civilization, resulting in humanity being forced to live in horrible traffic for generations.
- In SyFy's 2009 miniseries Alice, Wonderland's economy runs on the sale of liquid emotions extracted from Oysters, or people from the human world.
- The Trolls of The 10th Kingdom have "dwarf moss" that makes you see fairies. However, the real example is the Troll King's invisibility shoes, which give their wearer such a great sense of power that they become more and more obsessed with wearing them all the time. Even touching them seems to be enough to begin the process; as soon as Virginia does so, she hides them in her backpack, thinks of nothing else, and acts increasingly paranoid, even clutching the shoes like Linus's security blanket. This is lampshaded by Wolf (twice!) when he claims "magic is very nice, but it's very easy to get addicted", and later tells Virginia she is "hopelessly addicted to those shoes... and I'm not too far behind!" Whether this is meant to be a parody or an object lesson is never made clear, but it certainly plays out with extreme hilarity.
- Farscape has "Distillate of Laka" which helps take the edge off of John's Aeryn issues...when he doubles the dose.
- The Dinosaurs had a drug special which Robbie, Earl, and Charlene became addicted to a plant that they never really named.
- Robbie also develops an addiction to "thornoids" when trying to develop his muscle mass, a small annoying and insulting rodent covered in spikes that acts just like steroids when eaten.
- The survivors of the show Whoops found a mutated berry bush that make you high by smashing it on your forehead.
- Vampires' blood-drinking in Being Human is an addiction, not a biological necessity, and comes complete with painful withdrawal symptoms and a 12-step program (well, for a while anyway.)
- Tracker had an Enixian who was making a drug that his species used as eyedrops into their highly sensitive eyes. It was destructive and often fatal to humans, which meant Cole and Mel had to put the producer out of business.
- Dealing in kassa, an addictive corn-like grain, is a major source of income for the Lucian Alliance in the Stargate Verse. Some of the SGC's military actions in the last couple seasons of Stargate SG-1 involved kassa interdiction.
- There's also the Blood of Sokar, a Goa'uld-developed hallucinogen used by Apophis to interrogate SG-1 in "The Devil You Know".
- In Grimm Nick has to track down some junkie Wesen who get high some spices that are mundane and harmless to humans, but to Wesen its their version of heroin.
- In Continuum Retrevinol (or "Flash" in street slang) is a drug from the future originally used as an Alzheimer's treatment. It allows the user to vividly recall memories, but results in a dangerous sleepwalking effect as they get lost in their memory, not to mention addiction as they continue to pine for their brighter past.
- The Piraka in Bionicle bribe Brutaka (who's a good guy suffering from a major Crisis of Faith) into working for them by supplying him with Antidermis. This works as a sort of highly powerful steroid to his species... and is also the substance that (unknown to them) makes up the Makuta. As long as he only received small doses of the stuff (which were separated from Makuta's mind), he got a power boost, but when he soaked up multiple full Makuta essences, they took control over his body, seemingly permanently — but in return, made him infinitely more powerful.
- Since the only law in the titular city of Mortasheen is "Chaos Reigns", then it should come as no surprise that a few of the game's Mons are made for producing these. Aside from the two plant based ones, there's also the Crepusclent, which secretes psychotropic worms that give you ludicrously powerful Psychic Powers, but also causes very vivid hallucinations. There's also Jitter, who has tumorous drug-producing glands in its head, that make it "a viable alternative to the coffee machine". Unfortunately, due to these glands' they're pretty much all insane.
- Over the Edge has several imaginary designer drugs such as Slo Mo, which gives the impression that time has slowed down.
- Warhammer 40000 features 'combat drugs' as options on several units, sometimes taken voluntarily. In-universe, these are basically a mix of stimulants, painkillers, and more exotic chemicals intended to keep a soldier going for as long as possible before dying. Usually in a berserk rage. The Ciaphas Cain Hero of the Imperium!!! novels mention the names of several drugs: 'slaught, psychon, blissout, and others.
- Some background materials imply that the Emperor's Children, a legion of the settings worst abusers of combat drugs, manufacture those drugs from the basic components from broken down human bodies.
- Combat drugs aside, there are several recreational drugs that exist in the background as well. The most ubiquitous being the narcotic lho-sticks, which are smoked like a cigarette and apparently an opiate. Others include obscura, gladstones, and grinweed. Another example that plays the trope much straighter is flects, which are warp-saturated bits of broken glass, "used" simply by looking into them; keep in mind that since they are tainted by the warp, flects are a much more insidious example than most others on this page...
- Both Vampire: The Masqueradee and Vampire The Requiem go for vampire blood as a drug. Humans who take it can look forward to halted aging and a measure of supernatural power, but risk getting addicted and being "blood bound," entering a state where no matter how much they hate the vampire, they can't raise a hand to harm them.
- In various sourcebooks for Mage The Ascension, there are examples of magically created drugs, from the enchanted tabs of LSD, to various Progenitor created drugs that are intended to have effects ranging from making the user aware of all things within a set area, more likely to believe certain realities, or become completely incapable of feeling emotions. Of course, this being Mage, players are able to make any kind of magical fantasy drug they want. Crack that turns you into fire? Go for it! Mushrooms that makes any hallucinations real? Of course! Drugs that make you aware of how every action you take has been taken before and it's all been codified by magical beings who observe you invisibly? Sure.
- Additionally, the blood of other supernatural creatures has various effects on vampires in Vampire The Masquerade: werewolf blood is analogous to PCP, for instance, while mage and fairy blood act as powerful hallucinogens.
- The Mythologies sourcebook for Requiem actually introduces a drug specifically for vampires — Solace. It's injected via the tongue, made partly from the blood of teenaged "cutters", and allows the vampire to temporarily feel like they're alive again. It's extremely addictive.
- A suggested plothook in Changeling The Lost is the discovery of a goblin fruit known as "bloodroot", which has vampire-only narcotic properties, and the potential havoc that can ensue as unscrupulous changelings begin messing with vampire society and vampires, in turn, discover there is a drug they can actually feel and come hunting for it in turn.
- The "Rites of Spring" sourcebook for Changeling: The Lost also notes that a shot of Glamour (the "mana" of changelings) has the same general effects as Solace — it makes a vampire feel alive again.
- One running plot for the Orpheus line involved "pigment," a special type of heroin created by exposure to ghostly matter. Those who overdosed on it became their own special type of ghost - a "Hue," which could use Spite with reduced penalty.
- The Book of Vile Darkness for Dungeons & Dragons lists several fantastic drugs along with game rules for them (presumably because it's a book about everything that is bad). One of the nastier examples is distilled pain, which, well. There are naturally rules for addiction, but fortunately you can always remove that if you have access to the right spell.
- Also, in the Known World/Mystara setting for D&D, there's an Alphatian drug called zzonga.
- Somewhere between Fantastic Drug and I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin is Lurien Spring Cheese from the Forgotten Realms, also known as Halfling Cheese, mind cheese, and cheeeese. To humans it's a rather unpleasant dairy product; to halflings it's the most powerful narcotic imaginable.
- Exalted not only has fantastic drugs, it has fantastic ways to produce mundane drugs. Namely, the Beasts of Resplendent Liquid, immortal dinosaur-like beasts engineered in the First Age by a Twilight Caste bioengineer. They feed on pharmaceutically helpful plants and ferment the plants into an associated medicine. The Guild, however, got their hands on the Beasts, and now mainly put them to work on poppy fields so they can corner the heroin market.
- The future world of Shadowrun has come up with a lot of these. Perhaps the most interesting is "deep weed", an Awakened form of seaweed that causes you to astrally perceive when eaten... whether you want to or not. Then there's BTL (short for "Better Than Life") chips/programs, which come in varieties ranging from "pornography" to "emotional overload" to "deliberate synthesia".
- Unknown Armies features the magical school of Narco-Alchemy, which allows an adept to apply the principles of alchemy to the drug trade. There's a lot of fantastic drugs involved.
- Eclipse Phase features a lot of drugs. Recreational drugs, combat drugs, social drugs, narcoalgorithms for cybershelled characters... but most notably nanodrugs that use Nano Machines to induce states that simple chemicals could never accomplish. For instance "petals" are a variety of nanite-infused flowers whose petals send the user into a very trippy virtual reality when consumed, one popular variety makes the user think his hand has detached itself and is running away.
- Sly Cooper has Spice, harvested from Indian flowers. In large amounts, it causes uncontrollable rage and hatred in the user, acting a little like G-rated PCP.
- The Fallout series features a wide array of drugs, from Mentats that boost your brainpower to Jet, a stimulant extracted from Brahmin manure with severe withdrawal symptoms. Also Buffout (short-term boost to physical strength and endurance) and Psycho (increased damage resistance). The player character can become addicted to any or all of them; certain traits taken at character creation can affect how effective and addictive they are.
- Fallout 3 had to change the name of a drug morphine to 'Med-X' in order to keep distribution in certain countries. A cry against 'censorship' went out, but real life drug names were never part of the Fallout franchise before, and Bethesda pretty much designed them to act like magic potions anyway, and this one in particular doesn't realistically simulate morphine. A drug that increases damage resistance? Really?
- Well, if you pretend that hit points are a simulation of the amount of pain a person can withstand before giving into said pain, it would make sense that injecting oneself with morphine would increase pain tolerance. It would not, however, delay death, especially considering what most deaths look like in that game...
- Silent Hill has the hallucinogenic White Claudia/PTV.
- The plot of Max Payne revolves around Valkyr, colloquially known as "V", a PCP-like drug originally developed as a Super Serum for the military, but abandoned when it turned out to be addictive Psycho Serum, spurring the manufacturer to recoup their losses by selling the stuff to the mob, who then turned it loose on the streets. V also appears to have hallucinogenic properties, sending the titular hero on a really bad trip when he gets forcibly dosed up with it at one point.
- On a related note, those painkillers he's popping regularly for most of the game must be something pretty spectacular.
- Deus Ex has Zyme, the drug of choice for teenage rebels and junkies in 2052, in game it just gives you the effect of at least a dozen bottles of alcohol (wobbly and blurry vision) the Shifter game mod allows you to use it for temporary bullet time (normal effects still come after it).
- The Nameless Mod has Melk (TM), it has religious uses with the Goat cult, who have fountains of the stuff that allow their high priest to resurrect herself everytime she is killed, until they are shut off
- There is also crystal melk, which functions just like Zyme in the original game.
- Deus Ex Invisible War introduces Black Market Biomods, which have lements of this. They're illegal, and supposedly have negative effects on some people (forunately, your character is not one of those unlucky people). Complete with messages warning parents about the dangers. Plus, they're only sold by cyborgs in dark alleys.
- The Elder Scrolls series has Moon Sugar and its derivative Skooma, not to mention loads of fictional alcoholic drinks. Puts a whole new twist on the Alchemy skill.
- There are mods that allow you to produce Skooma out of raw Moon Sugar, which can then be sold for a decent profit to certain less than scrupulous traders.
- It should be noted that most honest merchants won't even barter anything with you if you have Skooma on you. You have to drop it first.
- Black Lotus is mentioned in passing several times in Baldur's Gate II - a backroom in the Cornet Inn suggest that it's an Opium Analog, and for a very mercantile city, Amn forbid the selling of it.
- In Saints Row 2, the Sons of Samedi manufacture Loa Dust, which is popular amongst the potheads at college. Part of the Saints' campaign against the Sons is in figuring out how to make it themselves, then stealing the competition's market.
- Liquid Sky in Snatcher, which was necessary since the game was made right in the middle of the 'War on Drugs' campaign.
- And Narc from Policenauts, which gave a shout out to the use of Liquid Sky in Snatcher by complaining that the two places with the highest drug rates in the populated world are Beyond Coast and "America, where the War on Drugs is still being fought".
- Narc is described as having 'the addictiveness of heroin and the hallucinogenic effects and potency of LSD'. Presumably it also gives you the high of heroin, because, otherwise, what'd be the point when you could take normal, non-addictive LSD?
- One character in Policenauts has the ability to not even respond physically to being shot due to the anaesthetic effects of Narc, and the main ingredient is from poppies, so it's presumably more opiate than hallucinogen.
- Nekoko's fairy dust in Yume Miru Kusuri.
- Instead of the benign Mana potions found in other games, Dragon Age features lyrium, an addictive mineral that can either be inhaled as a powder or made into elixirs. Side effects include delusions, paranoia, dementia, obsessive behavior, hallucinations, dry mouth...higher doses or exposure to large amounts of naturally occurring lyrium can cause overdose-like symptoms along the lines of brain damage and death.
- The pure lyrium idol in Dragon Age II is responsible for Bartrand and Meredith both going insane. The latter is a Templar, and thus already reliant on lyrium to power her anti-magic abilities.
- Offhandedly mentioned is Aquae Lucidius, a liquor whose ingredients include wyern poison. It's apparently popular among Orlesian nobility (including the Empress herself). According to Tallis, it'll make you see purple dragons for days. The codex entry has these testimonies:
"I feel confused but happy!"
"It was as though my soul took wing and floated about my head."
"I had a vision of my great-grandmother and found it oddly arousing."
"I can see through time!
- Haze has Nectar, which makes soldiers easier to control by concealing how much of a Crapsack World they're in (and how much of that they're responsible for). Withdrawal is really bad.
- Heavy Rain has triptocaine, a drug that one of the main characters, Norman Jayden, is addicted to. It's up to the player whether he will use it or not.
- Norman is only addicted to triptocaine because he abuses it to suppress the symptoms of another addiction he has: ARI, his virtual reality sunglasses that can be very dangerous with overuse and really screw with your perception of reality. Near the end of the game, keeping them on too long will make his eyes bleed, and further use will kill him.
- Mass Effect has red sand, a derivative of element zero. It gives the user temporary biotic powers, or enhances them if the user is a biotic.
- Hallex, seen in Samara's loyalty mission, causes euphoria and heightened senses. It's probably one of many drugs that originate on alien worlds.
- The city of Billion in Gungrave is overrun with crime and a mysterious drug known only as "seed". It's highly addictive and gives the user increased resilience and strength, along with lowered inhibitions and euphoria. However, it eventually drives the user insane and leads to death. Turns out that seed is really derived from a malevolent race of alien parasites whose only reason to live is to reproduce by taking control of other lifeforms. And it's used in the technology that brought the protagonist back from death and nearly all the enemies he fights throughout the series.
- Dream Leaf in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is an iridescent tree leaf from a semi-sentient (?) tree that acts as a sedative and gives the user good dreams. Its typical use is by old people and insomniacs. In war-torn Border Town, it is taken recreationally by those who want to dream of the good old days or by our heroes, to access the Haures summon in the blocked-off part of town.
- When the Dream Tree is under attack by the ghostly monster Sludge, its leaves instead induce nightmares.
- World of Warcraft has Bloodthistle, an herb that can only be taken by Blood Elves. When taken, it can increase spell power for ten minutes. On the other hand, it has a twenty minute 'withdrawal', which lowers your spirit. Oh, and it's outlawed in Shattrath City.
- In a lore interview, the blood specialization of Death Knights apparently have blood that works like this, blood that heals their allies (blood tap and bloodworms being the most apparent) are addictive if overused, causing reliance and withdrawls in a way similair to the ghouls of Vampire The Masquerade.
- The Medic in Team Fortress 2 can apparently get high off the fumes from his Kritzkrieg medigun. It also heals him by +11 health! So, as it turns out, huffing fumes to get high is sometimes good for you.
- Escape Velocity Nova's official timeline mentions FATE, a "highly addictive narcotic" created accidentally when scientists tried to use a spaceborne chemical called TCTLIDS to create medicines. The drug does not appear in the game proper, however.
- A fan-made sequel has 324-florazine iodase (street name "stardust"), which is a regulated but legal antidepressant for humans, and an illegal drug for several alien species.
- The X-Universe has spaceweed (think space marijuana) and space fuel (a.k.a. Argon whiskey). Both are illegal in the Commonwealth, and both are highly prized by players for pacifying the Space Pirate population.
- Ultima VII features Silver Serpent Venom, which temporarily ups all your stats only to permanently damage them when it wears off. Hilariously, using far too much of it at once will cause it to absurdly boost your character's stats when it wears off, making them ridiculously strong with some very odd effects on game mechanics.
- The Gothic series has swampweed. While it works mostly like marijuana in that it is smoked in joints and affects perception, magic users can benefit from its side effects to enter a trance-like state required for certain magical endeavours. In particular, one of the storyline quests in Gothic 2 requires a priest of each of the three main gods of Myrtana to enter in this trance state with joints of swampweed to help the Eye of Innos regain its power.
- Fallen London has "prisoner's honey" which transports you physically into a Dream Land. It's regulated, but legal. But stay away from red honey, which is one of the few things that's outright illegal in Fallen London Red honey lets you enter somebody else's memories and mess around.
- Xenoblade Chronicles has the red pollen orbs. Out of all the orbs that the Nopon manufacture there's the red variety. Like some real drugs, if they are processed correctly, they can have some good potential uses, if not, they are very addictive and dangerous for health. There's a group of Nopon that have been selling these variety illegaly to the citizens of Alcamoth, and a huge sidequest arc involves finding who and where they are and putting a stop to their bussiness.
- Spin, from the Bravestarr episode "The Price". It has a level of addictiveness bordering on Compressed Vice. Its effects are shown to be violent, with many users being taken to the hospital, and the kid who is the focus of the episode dying at the end.
- Captain Planet And The Planeteers did this trope with an anti-drug episode, "Mind Pollution", where the drug in question (oh-so-creatively called "Bliss") turns its victims into strung-out hollow-eyed zombies. Like "Bravestarr" sample above, Linka's cousin, Boris dies. The episode even calls it a "new designer drug."
- The G.I. Joe Very Special Episode "The Greatest Evil" featured a drug known as "Sparkle" which was sparkly red in color. The episode did go some way further than most of its type, however, in displaying relatively realistic effects of its use; one character was hospitalized with an overdose. At the end of the episode, the villainous drug-dealing Headman is unambiguously killed when he accidentally overdoses on his own drug, a rare moment for an episode of the type.
- Of course, the message of said episode is a little lost when you consider that the main plot suggests that drug dealers were a greater threat than heavily armed international terrorists, for whom Even Evil Has Standards, leading to the Enemy Mine situation of teaming up with the good guys.
- Actually, Fridge Brilliance saves the day here. If you wanted to take over the world, would you want the world to be a bunch of strung out junkies?
- Yes, It'd be easier.
- Actually in the episode the reason Cobra fights the Headman is because a Crimson Guardsman's sister gets hospitalized by Sparkle. The rest of Cobra is just in it to steal the Headman's money.
- In The Spectacular Spider Man, the series pays homage to the storyline about Harry Osborne's drug addiction in the comics by using the Psycho Serum "Globulin Green".
- Which has the fortunate side-effect of merging two of Harry's biggest storylines, his drug addiction and his eventual becoming of the Green Goblin (which is alluded to in the series, as he is originally thought to be the Green Goblin before its revealed Norman's been manipulating Harry into taking the fall for him. Besides making the Harry story tighter it also makes the reveal of Norman Osborn being the Green Goblin a genuine shock for the first time in over forty years!)
- In Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command, Mira becomes addicted to phasing through radiation, because as we all know, radiation gives you superpowers! However, it also apparently gives you withdrawal, unkempt hair, and a really creepy voice.
- Batman Beyond did a story about steroid use in athletics without using the word "steroids". They were "slappers" and turned out to contain the Venom used by Bane. The effects of Venom, of course, are much more disturbing than those of steroids.
- Batman Beyond loved this trope. Splicers used animal mutagens to make a drug-like culture (no adverse or overt addictive side-effects were shown, but the Splicers were portrayed as being deviant and intrinsically more confrontational) and total-immersion Virtual Reality (basically computer-generated euphoric hallucinations) was portrayed as being very addictive, with catastrophic side effects inevitably resulting from prolonged use. Both episodes were very dark and laced with terrifying imagery, particularly the Splicer episode, which culminated with Batman defeating the bad guy by splicing him over and over again with different animals until the villain had a Superpower Meltdown.
- Stimutacs, from the Sealab 2021 episode of the same name, are a fictional drug derived from the venom of the fugu invented by Sparks to make an assload of cash. Hilarity Ensues.
Marco: I have the strength of a bear that has the strength of two bears!
- An episode of ABC's version of Doug had a tobacco analogue called Nic-Nacs, which could cause people's mouths to freeze up.
- In an episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Birdman became addicted to a tanning cream that gives him massive boosts of energy because he's solar powered. It showed him selling all of his stuff to get more and end up getting a sort of intervention.
- Bender from Futurama loves to smoke and drink, but that's okay since he's a robot. However, robots can become addicted to electricity, as Bender did in "Hell is Other Robots". It eventually caused him to be dragged to Robot Hell...
- Similarly in "The Butterjunk Effect" Leela and Amy become addicted to a performance enchancer marketed as "Nectar", which comes from a species on Kif's planet. Near the end of the episode they have to kick the stuff and go through severe withdrawal doing so.
- Metalocalypse had "Totally Awesome Sweet Alabama Liquid Snake", a drug that would get you "so high your brain will blow chunks into the Milky Way." It has no effect on Pickles.
Pickles: I grew up smokin' government weed everyday, you know...
- The Smurfs episode "The Lure Of The Orb" hides a story of the effects of drug addiction behind the use of a magic orb that's supposed to give enlightened inspiration to whoever uses it.
- The My Little Pony special "Escape from Katrina" features a Cat Girl witch named Katrina who was addicted to a powerful Psycho Serum called "Witchweed Potion". She tries to capture the ponies as slave labor for gathering the ingredients so she could make more. Interestingly, while Katrina does eventually kick the habit and make a Heel Face Turn, this only happens at the last moment before she would have otherwise died, namely by falling into a pit of her own potion. And it's ''only'' because of her promise to kick the habit that the heroes save her life.
- On Ovide And The Gang a.k.a. Ovide Video, there was a certain flower that, when sniffed, would make anybody extremely happy and relaxed. As in, very mellow, laid-back, and agreeable. The villain of the show hated the flowers, as he didn't like getting along with others, but many episodes ended with him being forced to take a sniff. So in a nutshell, all the good guys on the show would sniff a flower to get high, and the villain didn't want to but was usually coerced into doing it. On a kid's show.
- It is implied in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (specifically, "Over A Barrel") that salt acts like alcohol for ponies.
A pony gets thrown out of a saloon called "The Salt Lick"
Saloonkeeper: That's enough salt for you!
Salted pony: Can't I at least get a glass of water?
- In Clone High, Jack Black expy Johnny Hardcore comes to the school to warn the students about the dangers of "doing raisins." Reverse psychology drives them all to try it, of course. Which is exactly what the council of raisins wanted in order to sell more, although this example of Fantastic Drug is an aversion because the entire buzz they give is nothing more than a placebo effect.
Abe: Hm. I don't really feel anything... Well, I have a strong constitution, so I don't really I CAN TASTE THE SUN!!!
- Transformers Prime: The synthetic Energon has this effect on Ratchet, making him increasingly unstable. This is a rare example of the drug being made by the affected party.
Bulkhead: Stronger, faster, studlier.
- TRON: Uprising: In "Price of Power," the experimental weapon makes Beck faster and stronger, but also far more aggressive. The fact that this was allowed on a Disney XD show was probably because the situation was applied to computer programs as opposed to humans.
- There have been a number of cases where jokes from comedy and Internet hoaxes have been taken seriously: cake, bananadine, and jenkem (supposedly a fadding drug among teens, created by storing raw sewage in a plastic bag for a week or so) have each raised their share of moral panic before people realized they were fake.
- The latest of these would be strawberry Quik-flavored meth.
- This one is at least based in reality. If allowed to dissolve in the mouth, some specific formulas of generic Adderall and/or Ritalin have a flavor very similar to strawberries.
- On surveys about school environments, students will sometimes be asked how many times in the past thirty days they've taken Panda B; there is no such drug, and if someone says they've taken it, their survey answers can be disregarded because they're obviously lying.