If the HBO show Vice is calling this the “scariest drug in the world” then we should believe them. If you have seen the show then, you know these reporters travel to the most dangerous and scariest places on the planet. So they know what they are talking about. Scopolamine comes from the seeds of a family of plants that includes angel’s trumpets and corkwood. They grow in many areas of Columbia and can be found in the Botanical Garden in Bogota. Also called “The Devil’s Breath” or “The Zombie Drug” because it puts people into a zombie-like state in which they lose their short-term memory and free will. People can be convinced to empty bank accounts or hand over keys to their cars. The tasteless and odorless drug is often dropped into unsuspecting bar patrons drinks.
Thankfully there doesn’t seem to be a big problem here in the U.S. with this drug. There were over 1200 reported cases Columbia last year, but the problem is perceived as a growing problem. Especially since many victims have no memory of the incident and thus don’t report it. Other so called date rape drugs are easier to obtain here in the U.S. , such as Rohypnol and Ativan. Unlike scopolamine, we can screen for these drugs and provide law enforcement the evidence they need to obtain convictions.
Always watch your drinks in bars. Never leave a drink unattended and you will probably never have to suffer the effects of these terrible drugs or the people who prey on the unsuspecting. Knowledge is key to prevention.