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I'm looking for an existing drug or chemical that most closely matches the following criteria, which will be listed from most to least important:

  1. lessening of social and moral inhibitions
  2. doesn't reduce higher functions of the brain (You're still smart... ish.)
  3. not very detectable in one's beverage (This is why alcohol is not an option)
  4. not particularly detectable that one is intoxicated (or don't care)

Note: If you're thinking of an extremely rare research chem that most people wouldn't have access to, that's still great! The character has access to anything of this nature.

I'm aware that not many substances can hit all these bases so go ahead and list anything that even works with #1. Numbers 2 - 4 are just for extra guidance on my perfect plot device.

If you're wondering, this is not for any kind of sexual assault scenario! A character is trying to ply some other characters to cheat at a competition and needs to loosen them up (morally) for it unknowingly.

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  • $\begingroup$ My first thought would have been cocaine, because it makes people more eager to take risks. But people usually don't drink it. $\endgroup$ – Philipp Aug 4 '18 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ You want a drug that doesn't affect cognative capacity but does affect judgment? I agree that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know to open a door for a lady, but wouldn't the rocket scientist be in the better position to realize something is causing him to stop opening doors for ladies? $\endgroup$ – JBH Aug 4 '18 at 23:38
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    $\begingroup$ Did you know that caffeine is the single most commonly used mood altering drug on the planet? Just give your people triple shots of coffee at your meeting, and then increase the perceived threat level of failure. The increased sense of fear along with the sense of alertness they get should encourage them down your chosen path perfectly well. $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Aug 5 '18 at 0:07
  • $\begingroup$ Some studies suggest Propanolol can significantly reduce inhibition, but I'm having some trouble finding solid research on whether or not it would be detectable in a drink. $\endgroup$ – boxcartenant Aug 5 '18 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ Underground (and above ground) chemists are creating new designer drugs every week. Just assert that the character has discovered such a drug at a local rave (they apparently still happen). $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Aug 5 '18 at 1:40
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MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy. Prior to widespread recreational use, MDMA was used to assist psychotherapy, and current research is looking at its role in PTSD treatment.

According to Wikipedia, effects include

Euphoria – a sense of general well-being and happiness

Increased self-confidence, sociability and feelings of communication being easy or simple

Entactogenic effects – increased empathy or feelings of closeness with others and oneself

Relaxation and reduced anxiety

Increased emotionality

A sense of inner peace

Mild hallucination

Enhanced sensation, perception, or sexuality

Altered sense of time

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Keppra rage.

Keppra, or levetiracetam, is an antiepileptic drug. It is popular, safe, effective and has minimal side effects. But one important (uncommon) side effect is rage.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18583196

LEV was rated as very effective by 40% of the patients. In contrast to only 9% of the controls, a considerable number of patients reported a behavioral change while taking LEV (12% very negative, 25% negative, 16% positive, 6% very positive). Negative ratings were due to loss of self-control, restlessness, sleep problems, and, most importantly, aggression.

Keppra rage can be a very big deal. It can happen to conscious, normal, intelligent people and such people might be aware that their tempers are somehow very short.

https://www.epilepsy.com/connect/forums/living-epilepsy-adults/keppra-rage

I am desperately seeking advice. I am engaged and my fiance has epilepsy. We have been together 5 years, and in the past couple of years since he started taking keppra, he has drastically changed. Most of the time, he is his normal self, the person I love, but he often gets extremely irritated and freaks out, yelling and cursing, not just at me, but at other people as well. He seems to have no ability to cope with the slightest issues that would roll of most people's back without so much as a second thought. Even worse is that every so often (once a month or so) he flies into these uncontrollable rages that absolutely terrify me. We will be having a normal conversation, both in great moods, and suddenly he is kicking walls and throwing things with a blank stare like he isn't even really there. It really scares me and this never happened before the keppra. He isn't honest with his doctor about the side effects because he is too afraid to get off keppra and try something else because he thinks it will trigger seizures during the transition

You could use this for your story. Tweak keppra into a fictional drug - perhaps an anti seizure drug which did not make it to market because despite its efficacy, the incidence of rage was near 100%. When your protagonist slips it to the other characters, they become extremely aggressive and short tempered. Careful what you wish for, dude!

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Captagon

Also known as Fenethylline, in my time fighting ISIS I witnessed that they would dose suicide bombers or assault squads with this drug to make them more likely to carry out their orders. Its not a very widely studied drug, but middle eastern militant groups favor it because it (at least appears) to lower inhibitions and suppress emotions like fear or self preservation without inducing serious impairment. I personally watched fighters under the effects of heavy doses of Captagon willingly enter into un-survivable situations with zero reservations and no apparent impairment of their motor functions (aside from a complete and utter disregard for their own safety with no attempts made at self preservation.) They looked kinda like robots, except sometimes they seemed to have an odd puzzled look on their faces like they couldn't believe they were actually doing what they were doing.

Perhaps a lower dose could serve to lower their inhibitions without inducing the robotic mannerisms I saw ISIS fighters exhibit under maximum doses. The thing is, Nobody is really sure if what they are actually using is really actual Captagon, or cut with something else. Nobody has actually tested the stuff used by ISIS in a clinical setting.

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  • $\begingroup$ You’ve seen people under the effects of Captagon? $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Aug 15 '18 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ "supposedly" We were infantrymen, not forensic toxicologists. We were told said men who made attempts on our position were definiteley under the influence of the drug. They were on something though. $\endgroup$ – TCAT117 Aug 18 '18 at 11:24

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