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Bottled Heroic Resolve

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Use this drug and get yourself back on your feet, never mind the extreme danger. This may be a form of Hollywood Healing. On the other hand, dangerous consequences are more than usually likely if you try this; Post-Victory Collapse often results when the problem is over and the drug wears off. You'd better hope this isn't a Tonight, Someone Dies episode.

In essence, this is a way to artificially induce a Heroic Second Wind.

Contrast Super Serum, which takes you beyond normal human capability; Magic Feather, where the effect is entirely psychosomatic; Superpowered Evil Side, where the hero is out of juice, but something inside him is just ready to continue with its own power and will; and Magic Potion, for other drinks with unusual effects. Compare Power-Up Food, Caffeine Bullet Time. For Dutch courage see Liquid Courage. Often goes hand-in-hand with In Vino Veritas.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • A Cruel God Reigns: Jeremy uses various painkillers, LSD, and heroin type drugs to help him deal with the pain of being beaten and raped by his step-father, and later in the series, to forget the haunting memories.
  • D.Gray-Man: Krory uses akuma blood to get stronger and get back on his feet. The more bottle he drinks, the stronger he gets however there is the risk that if he takes too much the innocence in his own blood won't be able to purify all the akuma blood and he will ended poisoned himself and die.
  • Dragon Ball: All its incarnations have Senzu Beans, which can restore a person to full health and power in an instant with none of the downsides usually associated with this trope. In fact, it's unusually helpful considering the strongest fighters in the series all possess an innate ability for exponential power growth if they recover from near death injuries. More than once, the combination of this trait and mid-fight Senzu Bean led to a dramatic reversal against an opponent who had been mopping the floor with them at their peak level moments earlier.
  • Excel Saga: At one point, Excel and Hyatt find a recently murdered girl. Hyatt (who is prone to sudden death) pulls out a bottle of medication she keeps in case of emergency and pours it down the girl's throat. The girl rockets to her feet, screaming "ENERGY!" at the top of her lungs, and proceeds to run across an ocean before recovering normality.
  • Maiden Rose: Klaus invokes this trope when he goes on the raid. Less effective than expected, probably because it wasn't the first time he used drugs.
  • Naruto: Chouji has his family's extra-strong soldier pills. The green and yellow ones require increasing recovery time, and the red one is only to be used if you're quite sure the fight is worth dying for.
  • One Piece: Emporio Ivanakov, whose Devil Fruit power allows them to generate hormones and inject them into people, can pull this off with "Vigor Hormones" which cause instant Heroic Resolve, though it should be noted that it's still very dangerous to go beyond one's physical limits while under the influence. They have used this twice on Luffy so far; they saved his life, but the process of fighting through what was killing him was so horrific it literally shaved years off his life.
  • Sword of the Stranger: Defied. Nanashi goes through fights with multiple mooks, getting injured several times and in very cold weather trying to save a boy. Nanashi is exhausted and all cut up, while his last enemy standing, Luo-Lang, is in perfect shape and a highly skilled swordsman who sees Nanashi as his only true opponent. He offers Nanashi an anesthetic to dull his pains and to make their upcoming duel a fair one. Nanashi turns the offer down and decides to fight him in his current condition. The fight ends in what would have certainly been (and still might have been) a Mutual Kill, if not for Nanashi's Pocket Protector that he received from Kotaro earlier.
  • Trigun: Wolfwood uses something in between this and Super Serum in his fight against Livo/Razlo and Chapel.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: In Asterix in Britain, tea is used as a substitute for the magic potion. Asterix does present it to the Britons as the real deal, but their chieftain acknowledges it gave them courage enough to defeat the Romans.
  • Batman: In the ''Knightfall storyline, Bane is outfitted with a special feed that pumps him full of the steroid-like drug Venom, liquid-fed into tubes in his head. It gives him Super Strength, but is incredibly addictive.
  • Tintin: In The Adventures of Tintin, Captain Haddock could often be re-energized by alcohol while tired or depressed, which Tintin uses at several points to rally him, even carrying around a spare bottle for emergencies.

    Comic Strips 
  • Popeye: Popeye is normally very unimpressive, until he eats spinach (he always keeps a can with him). The spinach has an effect not unlike Caffeine Bullet Time, enabling him to win the fight, save the girl, etc. The relationship between Popeye and spinach tends to shift around depending on the author. When it was originally introduced in the strip, it was just a partial explanation for his strength, a lifetime of physical exercise and good nutrition. Later in the strips and earliest shorts spinach would give him a burst of energy when tired out, enabling him to finish a fight, but would not necessarily make him stronger. Later Popeye would still be super strong without it but transform into a being who could literally warp reality through sheer physical strength after eating it. Some later shows toning down the violence have him as a normal guy who only becomes strong after eating spinach and generally one-punching a glass-jawed Bluto/Brutus. In general, though, it is the third portrayal — strong man without spinach, reality-warping strength on spinach — that gets used the most often.
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    Fan Works 
  • Rocketship Voyager. When the Auto-Doc refuses to let her leave Sickbay as she needs time to rest and recover, Captain Janeway demands Dexedrine instead (she doesn't get it). The Space Marines assigned to Voyager also have a prescribed ration of Benzedrine Sulfate for combat situations.
  • Tiberium Wars: Nod fanatics tend to employ a very potent drug that can, among other things, keep their blood oxygenated for at least a full minute after their heart has stopped and they're clinically dead. The drug and its use are based on real-life accounts from US military personnel who fought militia and insurgents using similar drugs (primarily epinephrine).
  • Triptych Continuum:
    • Exam Crystal is described as wake-up juice gone tesseract. Take a bit of Exam Crystal and let it dissolve under your tongue, and no matter how tired you were you will be more awake than ever before in your life until the dosage runs out. When it does, though, one of two things will happen: you'll either be just as tired as you were before you took the crystal, plus about thirty percent, or you will fall unconscious and nothing will be able to wake you up until you've made up for every minute of lost sleep. And both the duration and which aftereffect you will get are based on so many variables as to be effectively random.
    • Booster Drugs are complex chemical mixes which are the only way of boosting otherwise-fixed magical strength. Unfortunately, even if the booster was perfect prepared the extra magical strength comes from cannibalizing the rest of the body's strength. A fifteen-percent mix will leave you weakened and with a splitting headache for days once it wears off, while a fifty-percent mix (the strongest known) stands a very good chance of killing the user.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) has a tongue-in-cheek example in which the lead characters stay up for the remainder of the film after popping an entire handful of PCP caplets.
  • Max Payne: The climax begins with Max taking a dosage of Valkyr to keep himself from freezing to death. He then goes on a mook-slaughtering acid trip.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: Several teenagers try to postpone a confrontation with the deadly dream demon Freddy by taking coffee, as he kills people when they go to sleep.
  • Ong-Bak: The Dragon injects himself with some kind of drug in order to keep fighting the hero during the climactic fight scene, for all the good that does him in the end.
  • The Rock: Invoked, though this particular "bottle" contains the antidote for the killer poison he's trying to secure, and it must be injected directly into the heart. And he still has to Epic Hail away the last-ditch airstrike.
  • Universal Soldier (1992): Van Damme is only able to defeat Dolph Lungren after he takes a dose of supersoldier serum.

    Literature 
  • Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess: Lucrezia, having been placed back in a body that needs sleep, resorts to drugs to keep herself going. Lots and lots of drugs.
  • Black Jewels: Queen of the Darkness makes mention of a powerful stimulant that will keep someone on their feet with no food and no rest, as long as it's taken a couple times a day. Once it wears off, the user cannot be flogged awake by anything.
  • Discworld:
    • Carpe Jugulum: In addition to curing Verence of a vampire attack, the kelda's "brose" also puts the normally mild-mannered king in a state of mind where attacking said vampire's castle with a sword seems like a good idea. (The actual plot has already been sorted out by this point, but no-one told him that.)
    • Making Money: Splot, a Uberwaldian concoction, gives Moist von Lipwig extra energy when he needs it. Made from all natural herbs (belladonna) and minerals (arsenic), and definitely not alcoholic because alcohol wouldn't survive.
    • Raising Steam: Moist drinks a goblin drink that has much the same effect as brose, and heroically saves a clacks tower from deep-downer dwarfs.
  • "Döbeln at Jutas": The severely wounded officer Döbeln begs his doctor for a medicine that will let him out of bed for just one day, so he can lead his troops in the battle at Jutas.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Fool Moon: Harry takes a recharge potion, but turns out feeling like you have an inexhaustible power supply and actually having one are two different things. While he doesn't fall on his face, he runs out of juice and has no powers at a time you really don't want to have that happen.
    • Cold Days: Harry finds the Winter Knight's Mantle is like this. Sure, you can keep going like the Energizer Bunny, but in reality, you are just oblivious to the pain and damage your body is taking. Harry comments this is both efficient and cruel and hence totally appropriate for the donor of this item.
  • The Elenium: Sephrenia knows a spell that acts just like this trope, making the recipients feel like they're fully rested. But they aren't, and trying to substitute spell for sleep for too long will kill the recipients, which is why she refuses to teach this spell to the Church Knights.
  • Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star has Seth down an entire bottle of simulated courage in order to face an enemy which exudes a paralyzing aura of fear. He's almost painfully cocky until it gets close, and then he has to rely primarily on good old Heroic Willpower to get himself through it.
  • Halo: Ghosts of Onyx: The bioaugmentations of Gamma Company's Spartan-IIIs include the drug 009762-OO, which greatly enhances the aggressive response, allowing them to function long after a normal human would have died. However, two other drugs are needed to counter its effects and prevent the onset of Unstoppable Rage; the consequences of this are explored in Halo: Last Light.
  • Humanx Commonwealth: There are several stimulants that can be used to push beyond normal limits on endurance.
  • "The Mule": Part of the Emotion Control powers that the Mule has is to cause intuition and creativity to skyrocket, at the expense of the subject's life. He describes human brains as normally operating at 20% efficiency (essentially failing to use 80%), and he can use his power to force all of it to work non-stop without any chance to rest for weeks on end.
  • Realm of the Elderlings: Fitz has a bad habit of pushing himself too hard and then resorting to stimulant herbs for energy instead of actually getting some rest.
  • Robert A. Heinlein:
    • "Coventry": The hero and a companion take a powerful stimulant called a "pepper pill" ("improbable offspring of common coal tar") in order to complete a long hike and deliver a vital message. The drug can cause heart attacks and burns the body's tissues to provide energy after normal reserves are gone, requiring days to recover from its use.
    • Have Space Suit – Will Travel. While trudging across the surface of the Moon in a life and death situation, Kip takes dexedrine tablets when he gets exhausted. Which brings up all kinds of Values Dissonance as he buys them at the local drugstore. No sane pharmacist nowadays would even dream selling amphetamines to a high-school kid, space-suit or not.
    • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress: The UN troops are wired on indoctrination and "energizers, don’t-worries, and fear inhibitors that would make mouse spit at a cat". His Starship Troopers also use injections and hypnosis to deal with fear, but the protagonist notes in the opening sentence that it doesn't stop him shaking with fear before every drop.
  • Sector General: In Star Surgeon, the Sector General staff dose themselves repeatedly with stimulant injections to stay on duty through the waves of casualties brought in as a result of the Etlan police action.
  • Shards of Honor: Aral takes a "little blue pill" from his first aid kit to keep him on his feet while recapturing his ship from the mutineers who had tried to kill him, and seized control of it.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat: A number of stories include Bottled Heroic Resolve. In The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World, Slippery Jim's nerve fails him outside the Big Bad's base. No sane man would walk in there, not to certain death. So he pops a pill that kills sanity stone dead: grinning sociopathy in a capsule, live wire applied directly to the Id.
  • Star Wars Legends: The doctors in Med Star do all kinds of things to keep themselves going when they get endless waves of patients. A device is mentioned that stimulates certain kinds of brainwaves, allowing the equivalent of eight hours of sleep in ten minutes, but it's not actually as good as real sleep, and they start making mistakes anyway. When there aren't any patients, they tend to get drunk.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Blood Angels:
      • In Deus Sanguinius, after Rafen won the duel with Arkio, Mephiston offers him a shot that will give him the strength of lords, because of the severity of his wounds.
      • In Red Fury, Rafen knows of such drugs, though the Blood Angels prefer not to use them — but his foes are injecting themselves and getting results far beyond them.
    • Faith And Fire: Verity revives Miriya with an injection.
    • Gaunt's Ghosts: In His Last Command, when Mkoll is unconscious after falling through a Chaos warp gate and managing to get himself and another scout back despite the enemies, the impossible landscape, and the cold behind it, Gaunt has to speak with him. He has Dorden revive him long enough to speak with a shot; Dorden refuses to give him another dose, after.
    • Sons Of Fenris: When Jeremiah has given his word to Ragnar, he revives his fellow Dark Angels with such shots. One of them is seriously enough wounded for him to ask about the injuries; he answers I Can Still Fight!.
    • Space Wolf: When Ragnar and Strybjorn are escaping the caves, Ragnar gives Strybjorn a shot to keep him going despite his injuries, and then a second dose when he starts to hallucinate. In another fight, Strybjorn is able to act, some, but after, Ragnar has to carry him to get him out.
    • Ultramarines: In Nightbringer, the rescued Inquisitor limps into conference, clearly showing the heavy stim use that got him there.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Dr. Franklin develops a stims habit to cope with the demands of his job, which seems to be a common pitfall among doctors in the setting. In "The Quality of Mercy", it's mentioned that Dr. Rosen lost her medical license over stims use, and in "Hunter, Prey", Dr. Jacobs uses stims to keep himself awake while he runs from the law. Granted, the second example isn't a sign of an addiction to the drugs, but doctors seem to reach for them whenever they're in a tight spot.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): In "33", the Cylons are attacking every thirty-three minutes, giving Galactica's understaffed fighter pilots no time to rest. They're given an unnamed drug that's probably Amphetamine to keep flying.
  • The Deep: In one episode, Vincent is dying of radiation poisoning, but is given morphine and amphetamines to keep him on his feet long enough to help save the day.
  • Firefly: Malcolm Reynolds injects adrenalin directly into his heart to keep himself going long enough to repair the ship in "Out Of Gas".
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: In one episode, a fifteen-year-old girl at an exclusive private school has to keep using stimulants to stay awake and study so she can keep up with everyone else. She ends up going a little psycho as a result of the meds and killing her roommate.
  • Smallville: In "Rage", Green Arrow took a drug to give him a Healing Factor. Unfortunately, it had the side effect of driving him made with rage.
  • Stargate SG-1: In "Morpheus", the team (plus some Red Shirts) is infected with a parasite that makes them want to sleep. Once they are asleep, it then eats their brains to death. Naturally, nobody wants to have that happen, so they have to stay awake for a few days while trying to find a cure. At one point they resort to caffeine pills and other chemical stimulants, but have to stop when the drugs cause one Red Shirt to have a heart attack and die.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • "Amok Time": Subverted. Kirk becomes exhausted while duelling the deranged Spock, and McCoy calls a time-out to inject him with something that will give him a fighting chance. A Techno Babble explanation is provided — it'll help Kirk use the oxygen in his blood more efficiently, since the atmosphere on Vulcan is thin by Earth standards. Of course, McCoy has actually slipped him a mickey, giving him a sedative that will simulate sudden death and make it appear that Spock has won the battle.
      • "The Immunity Syndrome": While opposing a monster that drains life force, the crew starts to collapse and is given stimulants to keep them on their feet. At one point Kirk asks McCoy for another shot and Bones warns him that if he keeps on taking it it will blow him apart.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: In "Year of Hell", Captain Janeway orders the Doctor to dose her up under similar circumstances. He agrees, but not before threatening to remove her from command if she doesn't schedule herself a rest interval.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Discussed in the Frontier Wrestling Alliance when Dean argues against CM Punk's "Straight Edge" living, such as pointing out a brandy before a match makes Samoa Joe's offense hurt less and declaring sober Punk would never be able to defeat Joe.

    Roleplay 
  • In Panopticon Quest, after Jamelia's INVISIBLE BEAR augmentations get their killswitch activated by Panopticon, Serafina configures the automated medical dispenser in her Powered Armor to release drugs that keep her fighting.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the Potion of Heroism, which gives the drinker temporary hit points and makes them more resistant to damage for a set time.
  • Eclipse Phase features a number of nootropic drugs, including ones intended for combat. Kick makes one more alert, Phlo enhances reflexes and dexterity, and BringIt causes one to emit pheromones that incite others to attack them.
  • Rifts: Juicers use a combination of chemical stimulants and tweaks to their biological functions to always operate at the absolute peak of human performance. The problem is that this slowly destroys their bodies; the maximum life span of a Juicer is six years. "Detox" is possible, but after five years it has almost a 100% failure rate and only if it's done within two years will the individual not suffer from their body being partially burned out.
  • Tomorrows War has rules for combat drugs that can enhance speed, alertness, or morale. There's also rules for irregular units hopped up on recreational drugs so that they're fearless, but harder to command than normal irregulars.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Combat drugs are very common in the setting. A few of them are straight performance enhancers with little to no side-effects. Most of them are not. However, particularly in the RPGs, drugging your party can be very helpful against otherworldly horrors.

    Video Games 
  • Alter A.I.L.A.: Stimulants (in three different colors) are used in place of healing potions, as befits the After the End science-fiction setting.
  • Avernum: The Heroic Brew tastes incomprehensibly foul, but turns even wimpy mages into unstoppable juggernaughts for a few rounds, nevermind the actual frontliners, who become godlike.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company: Private Marlowe is given a hypodermic needle (full of adrenaline, presumably) that he can use to keep himself alive near the start of the story.
  • Bayonetta: The Red Hot Shot is a slurry of demonic medicine in a syringe that Bayonetta can use when she's about to be killed and Dragged Off to Hell, staving off mortality and giving her a second chance.
  • Earthbound had a "sudden guts pill" item, which double the user's "guts" stat for the duration of the battle. This is particularly fitting since a high "Guts" stat raises the probability that a character will survive a fatal hit with one hit point. (besides, it raises the Critical Hit ratio of the user).
  • The Elder Scrolls series has Fortify Health potions which function in this way. The very best ones can add hundreds of health in an instant...but that extra health will only last for the potion's duration. If you have less health remaining when it wears off than the potion added, you'll drop dead on the spot. As such, their best use is to give you time to fire off a healing spell or enchantment.
  • Eternal Darkness: Edward Roivas has bottles of Liquid Courage in his Inventory. Three guesses as to what they hold...
  • Fallout: All kinds of chems can fall into this trope at some point. Includes the Buffout (Strength, Agility and Endurance), Jet (increased reflexes/speed), Psycho (damage resistance and agility, in Fallout 3 increased damage) and Med-X (damage resistance). They have aftereffects and are addictive, of course.
    • Psycho is based on a drug cocktail the German army used in WWII, and Med-X is Brand X morphine.
    • In Fallout 3, Buffout helps during one Escort Mission when an escortee stops moving.
    • Fallout 4 has the Refreshing Beverage. It heals a huge amount of damage over a short period of time, Fully removes radiation, and cures addiction to boot. One dose can bring you from near death to full power in an instant.
  • Half-Life: The HEV suit comes equipped with Self-Dispensing Bottled Heroic Resolve, as it will automatically inject you with morphine if you become injured.
  • Hitman: Blood Money has two healing items: A syringe full of adrenaline, and a bottle of painkillers whose flavor text states they're currently being tested for use on horses.
  • The Legend of Zelda: While the potions are explicitly magical, the food items in the more recent games are not. Link can come back from the brink of death just by drinking half a bottle of milk or soup. Bottled fairies are an even straighter example: they will appear when you run out of health and give you a smallish health boost so you can keep fighting for a bit longer.
  • Max Payne: Valkyr was originally created as one of these for the US military, but rejected when it turned out to have undesirable side effects. The corporation responsible for its creation decided to recoup their losses by selling it as a street drug in partnership with The Mafia and everything went downhill from there.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Snake injects himself with nanomachines several times to keep himself on his feet throughout the second half of the story.
  • Nintendo Wars: This is used as a plot point in Advance Wars Days of Ruin. Caulder gives The Beast, who had been shot and was suffering an infection, some form of medicine to keep him fighting. However, the medicine also turns him batshit crazy and, in the end, ultimately kills him.
  • Portal 2: In the tie-in comic Lab Rat, the schizophrenic Doug Rattman only has one dose of anti-psychotic medicine left, so he saves it for an emergency, surviving thanks to his Companion Cube acting as a hallucinatory Spirit Advisor. When the power to the Enrichment Center shuts off, endangering the lives of everyone in stasis (including the series' main protagonist Chell) he takes his meds so he can focus and turn the power back on. Notably, this is subverted: though he does restore the power, without the Companion Cube giving him survival tips, he gets shot by a turret and almost dies.
  • Starcraft: Terran marines and firebat/marauder class infantry use stimpacks to boost combat efficiency from "cannon fodder" to "tactically superior to everything that they can hit". Usually used at the start of engagement and actually deplete health reserves for the combat boost.
  • Syndicate Wars had this as one of the main ways to control your soldiers. Red makes them more aggressive. Blue makes them more passive.
  • The Witcher: Witchers make heavy use of potions to increase their strength and toughness before battle, but overdoing it can fatally poison them. The mutations that turn them into Witchers are the only reason they can safely drink them at all — they'd kill a normal human outright.

    Webcomics 
  • Blue Yonder: They use this on Jared to keep him going when they have to escape capture.
  • Girl Genius: Powerful but dangerous stimulants are used abundantly by a number of characters, befitting the free use of mad science in the setting.
    • Jägers use battledraught, an extremely powerful pick-me-up used to speed up physical recovery that can only be used on unmodified humans sparingly and in small doses.
    • The smoke knights' repertoire of poisons, drugs and other chemicals include the stimulant Movit, which comes in a number of increasingly powerful and risky variants. Movit #6 provides a fairly powerful energy boost, while Movit #11 can render a drinker nearly superhuman if it doesn't kill them. In the battle in Castle Heterodyne, Zola downs a dose of #11 and becomes an unstoppable, manic juggernaut until Violetta shoots her with a dart containing more Movit #11, reasoning that now she only needs to wait until Zola combusts; Zola manages to avoid dying by keeping constantly in motion to burn the extra energy off.
    • When Tarvek collapses, Violetta reveals that this was the only reason he was standing in the first place.
    • When the Other is possessing Agatha, she keeps taking various stimulants in order to keep working, as Agatha would otherwise be able to reassert control if she dozes off.
    • When battling the Other in England, Martellus gives Oggie a dose of an experimental stimulant he'd brewed on the spot. Before drinking it, Oggie is dying from a bad wound; after, he's powerful enough to nearly tear the Other's clank body to pieces on his own; after it wears off, he quickly collapses from exhaustion.
  • Schlock Mercenary: The use (and abuse) of this is covered in Elf's arc regarding her combat stim addiction. Far later, she's about to pass out. When someone mentions that her combat stims should prevent this, she reveals that she flushed her suit's reservoir, leading to the observation that being too afraid of drugs is another kind of drug problem.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Scooby-Doo: Scooby Snacks have this effect on Scooby, and often on Shaggy as well. On the more whimsical and surreal A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Scooby Snacks have an effect not unlike Popeye's spinach, turning them into heroes at the least and a borderline Reality Warper at the most.
  • The Simpsons: Invoked and inverted in "Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge" when Barney mentions that, since he's a recovering alcoholic, he's just as much a coward as everyone else.

    Real Life 
  • Who hasn't pulled an all-nighter (or got through the day after one) by loading themselves up with coffee and energy drinks?
    • So very true in health care, and especially before the 80-hour resident workweek reforms, when 36-hour shifts were a common rite of passage. Trainee physicians and nurses have long been known to joke that they have too much blood in their caffeine streams...
    • Caffeine itself acts by suppressing the brain's normal ability to sense fatigue.
    • Unfortunately, if you have hyperactivity, such as with ADHD, or you've been on prescription stimulants for a long time, you can become effectively immune to caffeine. Depending on circumstances, it's possible for it to make you sleepy.
  • Militaries have used amphetamines to promote aggressiveness and keep troops awake for long periods of time since 1939 in Germany and 1942 in Britain and the USA. Objective studies showed that they were no better than caffeine for combating fatigue and actually had significant drawbacks including (nigh-suicidal) recklessness, addiction, and hallucinations. However, they considered the boost to aggressiveness and the potential to reduce psychological casualties from 'depression' caused by "combat exhaustion" worth the side effects. This was especially important for Assault Troops attempting to break through well prepared defensive positions, such as during Zitadelle in July '43.
    • More specifically US forces consumed 100,000 5mg doses per month in early 1942 (between fewer than 500,000 personnel) and at an unknown but much increased rate following the mobilisation of the USA's pharmaceutical industry for total war production. The Royal Air Force formally endorsed the usage of two 5mg tablets per man per 'strategic bombing' (of urban centres) mission in 1942, and in the same year Field Marshall Montgomery's Middle East Command recommended no more than 20mg per day over a five day period, or half that dosage for officers not in combat.
    • During the Siege of Leningrad the pharmaceutical factory synthesizing Pervitin reportedly survived the initial attacks and was later considered an asset just as important as the dwindling food supplies. The meth probably was not the last reason why Leningrad survived the first, most brutal winter of the siege, when a huge city was left with no utilities and almost no supplies. Otherwise, though, Soviets weren't big on meth, limiting its use to the most desperate of the situations only. They had their own drug of choice to maintain morale.
    • Finnish kaukopartio troops (Long Rangers) used Pervitin (methamphetamine) as the last resort drug. Justified, as they were Trapped Behind Enemy Lines and assumed to fight their way back to own lines.
    • Amphetamines are now much stronger and have the potential to keep people awake for days at a time. Military pilots now call them "go pills" and they also have "stop pills" for when the need to stay alert has passed. The latter being basically sedatives. Both are passed out by doctors if requested. An over-reliance on these drugs is somewhat controversial though, since they may also have negative effects on things like alertness, situational awareness, judgment, etc.
    • Drug-addled personnel have been implicated in numerous War Crimes and friendly fire incidents caused by hyperaggression and reduced ability to concentrate, respectively. One notable incident was when a US pilot dropped a 500-lb bomb on a Canadian infantry platoon in Afghanistan in 2002.
    • This is basically the whole power behind the Katanas of the Rising Sun. The whole Japanese army ran on meth. Metamphetamine was synthesized in Japan in 1913 and medicalized under trade name of Philopon by Sumitomo Pharma. Called shabu in military parlance, it was freely distributed along the Imperial forces during WWII — to the extent that methamphetamine belonged in daily rations. Sadly, meth tends to dull emotions and obliterate altogether the capability of empathy, leading to extreme cruelty and atrocities on a previously unseen scale. Most Imperial Japanese atrocities and war crimes in WWII, such as the Rape of Nanjing, were basically committed once a week. Methamphetamine also made the soldiers to disregard their own lives and safety. Banzai charges and hopeless last stands would have been impossible without shabu.
  • Alcoholic drinks have been used to encourage soldiers to think less about saving their own skin and more about fighting. Of course, alcohol has been called "liquid courage" and such for ages, but nowadays we can test this with brain scans, too. The Red Army during WWII famously used shots of vodka (called "the Peoples' Commissar's 100 grams") to bolster morale.
  • In a somewhat disturbing blog post, Peter Watts suggested a version: "Isolate the neurochemical factors that come into play when a mother sees her children being threatened; synthesise them; dose every female soldier with an aerosol of the stuff before you send her into the field. If any of the boys complain about women in the military after that, it’ll only be because they keep getting their asses kicked on performance reviews. Either that, or because they’re scared shitless."
  • Painkillers and cortisone shots administered to injured professional athletes to allow them to return to games.
  • Strongly averted in skydiving: using drugs or alcohol for resolve against fear is prohibited. If you feel uneasy to jump today, better to hang out at the club one day than to drug yourself to dare.
  • Simple pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen can be this to people who suffer from severe neck and/or back pain. Sure, the injury will still be there when the medicine wears off, and might even have been gotten worse because you were up and moving around instead of laying low, and the pills can be hell on your digestion. But it's (usually) worth it when the alternative is staying in bed all day.

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