amitywall (amitywall) wrote in little_details,

Does a drug like this exist?

My current project is set in a slightly advanced Victorian era with steampunk technology. One of the main characters was a drug addict who had recently escaped from an asylum, and for that I needed a new drug. So I created lethe.

It's a street drug, but also has uses in medicine. It can be bought in either powder form or liquid form, with liquid being more common. It is either snorted or done intravenously and is highly addictive. Doses used for recreational purposes result in a mild feeling of calm and forgetfulness, though in first time users it often results in full blown amnesia. Along with the calm feeling, many users experience a bolstering of confidence and a lack of fear. In some users, the drug produces auditory or visual hallucinations, though rarely both. Withdrawal can often be deadly due to seizures and psychosis. In medicine, the drug can be used in low doses as a anesthetic and in slightly higher doses as a sedative. It was once used in asylums to subdue violent patients.

What I was wondering is if such a drug really exists and if it would have been possible to make during the Victorian era? And if not, then maybe if there was a mixture of herbs and/or chemicals that could create the same effects?

Search terms already used include 'recreational drugs', 'illegal drugs', 'amnesiatic drugs', 'herb side effects', 'weird drug side effects' and 'uncommon drugs'.
Tags: ~medicine: drugs, ~medicine: historical, ~medicine: poisoning, ~recreational drugs, ~victorian era

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