‘Devil’s Breath’ chemical from Colombia can block free will, wipe memory and even kill

  • Scopolamine often blown into faces of victims or added to drinks
  • Within minutes, victims are like ‘zombies’ – coherent, but with no free will
  • Some victims report emptying bank accounts to robbers or helping them pillage own house
  • Drug is made from borrachero tree, which is common in Colombia

A hazardous drug that eliminates free will and can wipe the memory of its victims is currently being dealt on the streets of Colombia.

The drug is called scopolamine, but is colloquially known as ‘The Devil’s Breath,’ and is derived from a particular type of tree common to South America.

Stories surrounding the drug are the stuff of urban legends, with some telling horror stories of how people were raped, forced to empty their bank accounts, and even coerced into giving up an organ.

Danger: 'The Devil's Breath' is such a powerful drug that it can remove the capacity for free willDanger: ‘The Devil’s Breath’ is such a powerful drug that it can remove the capacity for free will
Deadly drug: Scopolamine is made from the Borrachero tree, which blooms with deceptively beautiful white and yellow flowersDeadly drug: Scopolamine is made from the Borrachero tree, which blooms with deceptively beautiful white and yellow flowers
VICE’s Ryan Duffy travelled to the country to find out more about the powerful drug. In two segments, he revealed the shocking culture of another Colombian drug world, interviewing those who deal the drug and those who have fallen victim to it.

Demencia Black, a drug dealer in the capital of Bogota, said the drug is frightening for the simplicity in which it can be administered.

He told Vice that Scopolamine can be blown in the face of a passer-by on the street, and within minutes, that person is under the drug’s effect – scopolamine is odourless and tasteless.

‘You can guide them wherever you want,’ he explained. ‘It’s like they’re a child.’

Black said that one gram of Scopolamine is similar to a gram of cocaine, but later called it ‘worse than anthrax.’

In high doses, it is lethal.
‘Devil’s Breath’ Drug Scopolamine Used By NASA and CIA


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.

The Daily Mail