The Devil's Breath drug scopolamine is rife in Colombia (VICE)
The "Devil's Breath" drug scopolamine has been used by NASA to counter the effects of motion sickness.
The hallucinogen was recently brought to the public's attention by a documentary aired on Vice.com, which saw reporters travel to Colombia to see its deadly effects.
The film charted the use of the drug in the world of organised crime, where users are left in a zombified, highly suggestible state.
Scopolamine was given the name "the Devil's Breath" in an allusion to voodoo and black magic, as dealers say they can blow it into the face of a victim and put them under their control.
However, the drug has been used for some time, in significantly smaller doses, by Nasa for the treatment of motion sickness.
When mixed with dexedrine to form the substance scop-dex, the drug is administer to people training in environments with altered gravity, which frequently causes extreme nausea.
Nasa guidance on its reduced gravity student flight opportunities programme states: "Historically 60 percent of first-time student flyers in the reduced gravity programme experience significant motion sickness, including nausea and vomiting. However, when students carefully follow the instructions of the flight personnel and use the recommended dosage of scop-dex, this motion sickness rate drops to 15 percent or less."
The drug is very dangerous outside of strict controls, with the top legal dosage set at .33mg. A dose of just 10mg would be expected to cause a coma and then death.
The CIA and secret police around the world have tested and studied the drug as a tool for interrogation, due to its powerful suggestive effects.
Scopalamine has also been found within date rape drugs. In June 2008, more than 20 people were taken to hospital after taking tablets that were thought to be rohypnol, but actually contained scopolamine.
The drug has also been found to decrease the secretion of fluids in the stomach alongside its mental effects, which has led to its use for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, spastic muscle states and Parkinson's disease.
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