One common side effect is drowsiness. Scopolamine is a tropane alkaloid drug with muscarinic antagonist effects. Hyoscine hydrobromide exerts its effects by acting as a competitive antagonist at muscarinic acetylcholine receptors; it is thus classified as an anticholinergic, antimuscarinic drug. Although it is usually referred to as a nonspecific antagonist, there is indirect evidence for m1-receptor subtype specificity.
It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system. Scopolamine is named after the plant genus Scopolia. The name “hyoscine” is from the scientific name for henbane, Hyoscyamus niger.
Somnolence (alternatively “sleepiness” or “drowsiness“) is a state of strong desire for sleep, or sleeping for unusually long periods (compare hypersomnia). It has distinct meanings and causes. It can refer to the usual state preceding falling asleep, the condition of being in a drowsy state due to circadian rhythm disorders, or a symptom of other health problems. It can be accompanied by lethargy, weakness, and lack of mental agility.
Somnolence is often viewed as a symptom rather than a disorder by itself. However, the concept of somnolence recurring at certain times for certain reasons constitutes various disorders, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, shift work sleep disorder, and others; and there are medical codes for somnolence as viewed as a disorder.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradoxical_reaction
About one in five emergency room admissions for poisoning in Bogotá, Colombia, have been attributed to scopolamine.In June 2008, more than 20 people were hospitalized with psychosis in Norway after ingesting counterfeit rohypnol tablets containing scopolamine.
Scopolamine was used in conjunction with morphine, oxycodone, or other opioids from before 1900 into the 1960s to put mothers in labor into a kind of “twilight sleep“. The analgesia from scopolamine plus a strong opioid is deep enough to allow higher doses to be used as a form of anaesthesia.
While it is occasionally used recreationally for its hallucinogenic properties, the experiences are often mentally and physically extremely unpleasant, and frequently physically dangerous, so repeated use is rare.
The effects of scopolamine were studied by criminologists in the early 20th century. In 2009, it was proven that Czechoslovak communist state security secret police used scopolamine at least three times to obtain confessions from alleged antistate conspirators. Because of a number of undesirable side effects, scopolamine was shortly disqualified as a truth serum.
In 1910, scopolamine was detected in the remains believed to be those of Cora Crippen, wife of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, and was accepted at the time as the cause of her death, since her husband was known to have bought some at the start of the year.
It is unclear if the claims of use of scopolamine in crime is true or not. The drug is known to produce loss of memory of events recently before exposure and sleepiness, similar to the effect of benzodiazepines or alcohol poisoning, but claims of the drug “removing free will” are dubious.
Scopolamine has been used under the name “burundanga” in Venezuelan and Thailand resorts in order to drug and then rob tourists. In 2008, Vice News aired an episode called Colombian Devil’s Breath recounting the use of scopolamine by Colombian criminals as a suggestion drug. The two-part investigation contains first-hand accounts of its use, including claims that small amounts blown into people’s faces turn them into “mindless zombies”. While there are rumors that delivery mechanisms include using pamphlets and flyers laced with the drug, not enough is readily absorbed through the skin to have an effect. However, spiked alcoholic drinks are occasionally used.
The substance has been blamed for thousands of crimes in South America. Now there are reports of the incapacitating drug being used in street robberies in Paris. From use by Nazis to obstetricians, it certainly has a colourful history
The drug is burandanga, or scopolamine, derived from nightshade plants, and there are countless stories about how criminals in Colombia and Ecuador use the drug, which is said to remove a person’s free will, to assault victims or rob them. It is also known as “devil’s breath” and has been described as “the most dangerous drug in the world”. It’s hard to know which are urban myths and which are genuine. The US’s Overseas Security Advisory Council warns travellers in Quito about the dangers of falling victim to a scopolamine attack, and refers to “unofficial estimates” – it doesn’t say where this figure is from – of 50,000 scopolamine incidents there every year.
It is one of those drugs with a rich backstory. It is said to be one of the first “truth serums”. In the early 20th century, it was administered by some doctors as a pain-relief drug – or rather a drug that led to the forgetting of pain – in childbirth until one obstetrician noticed how women who had been given it answered candidly to questions; he later wondered if it could be used when questioning people charged with crimes. It was used as evidence in some trials, but dubiously.
It is “horrible stuff”, says Curran. “When I used to give it to people [in experiments], they hated it – it makes your mouth really dry, it makes your pupils constrict. Certainly high doses would be completely incapacitating.” And does it remove free will? “It would completely zonk you out,” says Curran, “ but I don’t know about removing free will. It incapacitates you because you’d feel so drowsy, you wouldn’t remember what was going on. But you would do after huge doses of alcohol, or lots of other drugs like Valium or other benzodiazepine drugs.”
Then there are stories of it being used in Nazi Germany as an interrogation tool, and also in the middle ages by witches. “The degree to which any of this stuff is true is unknown,” says Curran. “There’s a lot of myth.”
Scopolamine has marked amnesic effects, and is used in Alzheimer’s research.
Thurs, Aug 02, 2012
The tree’s seeds, flowers, and pollen possess hallucinogenic chemical substances that, when inhaled or consumed, are capable of eliminating a person’s free will, and turning him or her into a mindless zombie that can be fully controlled without any inhibitions.
Back in May, the U.K.’s Daily Mail ran a report on the borrachero tree, also known as the “drunken binge” tree, explaining how a substance derived from it, scopolamine, blocks a person’s ability to form memories, and temporarily inhibits his ability to make free will choices. When inhaled or consumed, in other words, scopolamine can turn any person into a robot that will do whatever another person tells him to do, even if it means robbing his own house.
All of this information about scopolamine brings to mind the recent Batman massacre in Colorado which, as we reported on recently, does not seem to match the official story (http://www.naturalnews.com). Incongruous evidence and conflicting eyewitness reports have led many to wonder whether James Holmes, the man being blamed for the crimes, was under the influence of mind-control drugs during the incident that caused him to become the convenient scapegoat for a much more sinister agenda instigated by outside forces. (http://www.naturalnews.com) found here
- Within minutes, victims are like ‘zombies’ – coherent, but with no free will
- According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the drug – also known as hyoscine – causes the same level of memory loss as diazepam.
- In ancient times, the drug was given to the mistresses of dead Colombian leaders – they were told to enter their master’s grave, where they were buried alive.
However, because of the drug’s chemical makeup, it also induces powerful hallucinations.
The tree common around Colombia, and is called the ‘borrachero’ tree – loosely translated as the ‘get-you-drunk’ tree.
It is said that Colombian mothers warn their children not to fall asleep under the tree, though the leafy green canopies and large yellow and white flowers seem appealing.
Experts are baffled as to why Colombia is riddled with scopolamine-related crimes, but wager much of it has to do with the country’s torn drug-culture past, and on-going civil war.
Watch video here: WARNING: CONTENT MAY BE UNSUITABLE FOR SOME READERS
Mind controller: What is the ‘burundanga’ drug?
03 MARCH 11
This article was taken from the April 2011 issue of Wired magazine. Be the first to read Wired’s articles in print before they’re posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online.
Burundanga is a scary drug. According to news reports from Ecuador, the last thing a motorist could recall, after waking up minus his car and possessions, was being approached by two women; in Venezuela, a girl came round in hospital to find she had been abducted and sexually assaulted; in Colombia, customers of a street vendor were robbed after eating his spiked food. Each had been doped with burundanga, an extract of the brugmansia plant containing high levels of the psychoactive chemical scopolamine.
The scale of the problem in Latin America is not known, but a recent survey of emergency hospital admissions in Bogotá, Colombia, found that around 70 per cent of patients drugged with burundanga had also been robbed, and around three per cent sexually assaulted. “The most common symptoms are confusion and amnesia,” says Juliana Gomez, a Colombian psychiatrist who treats victims of burundanga poisoning. “It makes victims disoriented and sedated so they can be easily robbed.” Medical evidence verifies this, but news reports allude to another, more sinister, effect: that the drug removes free will, effectively turning victims into suggestible human puppets. Although not fully understood by neuroscience, free will is seen as a highly complex neurological ability and one of the most cherished of human characteristics. Clearly, if a drug can eliminate this, it highlights a stark vulnerability at the core of our species. Medical science has yet to establish if the drug affects our autonomy, but it is known that scopolamine affects memory and makes people more passive. Neuroscientist Renate Thienel, from the University of Newcastle in Australia, has studied its effects on problem-solving and memory tasks during brain scans. He notes that “scopolamine has a selective effect on memory, although other mental functions, such as planning and information manipulation, are unaffected”. This suggests victims remain cognitively nimble but unable to retain information.
The key seems to be that scopolamine blocks acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential to memory. Scans also reveal the drug affects the amygdala, a brain area controlling aggression and anxiety. This would explain scopolamine’s pacifying effect. Evidence also suggests victims tend to be confused and passive rather than unable to resist commands. Yet, until scopolamine’s role in the chemistry of free will is fully explored, we can only speculate that the criminal underworld has unwittingly stumbled upon one of the greatest discoveries of 21st-century neuroscience
Physostigmine is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, and has been used as an antidote to treat the CNS depression symptoms of scopolamine overdose. Other than this supportive treatment, gastric lavage and induced emesis (vomiting) are usually recommended as treatments for overdoses. The symptoms of overdose include:
Physostigmine is used to treat glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, and delayed gastric emptying. It has been shown to improve long term memory. Recently, it has begun to be used in the treatment of orthostatic hypotension.
Because it is a tertiary amine, it can cross the blood–brain barrier, and physostigmine salicylate is used to treat the central nervous system effects of atropine, scopolamine, and other anticholinergic drug overdoses.
Generic Name:Physostigmine Salicylate
Class: Parasympathomimetic (Cholinergic) Agents
VA Class: AU300
CAS Number: 57-64-7
(Phys, Calabar Bean, Calabar Bean, Physostigma Venenosum)
Physostigma is available from USA and Canada, in the potencies, formats and brands specified below. If you do not see what you require.Physostigma is also known (or spelled) as Calabar Bean
Pure scopolamine intoxications are extremely rare. We treated a series of severe intoxications exclusively caused by scopolamine and due to the intentional mixing of pure scopolamine into drinks. The clinical course and therapy are reported. On the basis of our experience and a survey of literature, we found physostigmine to be an excellent antidote. The symptomatology of the patients confirms that scopolamine has a dose-related stimulant effect on the central nervous system.
- [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
The three are thought to have stolen millions from unsuspecting victims by blowing scopolamine, a powerful “hypnotic” drug, into strangers’ faces.
Police have seized two Chinese women and a man in Paris suspected of using a powerful Colombian drug dubbed “the devil’s breath” that turns victims into “zombies” devoid of free will and rob them.
It is thought the three are part of an international Triad-style criminal gang running a multimillion-pound operation around the planet.
The women, aged 42 and 59, approached strangers in Paris’ 20th arrondissement and blew the substance into their faces. It is thought to contain scopolamine, a hazardous drug extracted from a South American tree related to deadly nightshade.
The Soviets and the CIA reportedly used it as a truth serum during the Cold War, while Joseph Mengeles, the Nazi physician dubbed the Angel of Death, had it imported from Colombia to use in interrogations. However, because of the drug’s chemical make-up, it also induces powerful hallucinations.
In strong doses it is lethal. Infamous murderer Dr Crippen is believed to have killed his wife Cora in 1910 using the drug before trying to flee to Canada.
APPROVED FOR RELEASE
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM
22 SEPT 93
Effects of narcosis and considerations relevant to its possible counterintelligence use