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.

  • $\begingroup$ 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, 2018 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, 2018 at 23:38
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ 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, 2018 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. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2018 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, 2018 at 1:40

8 Answers 8


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

  • $\begingroup$ How to dose unknowingly? Drink? Mix in air? What? $\endgroup$
    – Malady
    Jul 7, 2019 at 22:49


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.

  • $\begingroup$ You’ve seen people under the effects of Captagon? $\endgroup$
    – DT Cooper
    Aug 15, 2018 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, 2018 at 11:24

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.


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.


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!


Because it mimics the neurotransmitter GABA and boosts the brain’s supply of dopamine, phenibut is particularly good at shushing central nervous system responses that lead to nervousness, anxiety and inhibition. This makes it a handy anxiolytic, but it’s also used commonly used as a sedative, mood regulator and cognitive enhancer as well. In countries like Russia, Ukraine and Latvia, where it’s licensed for medical use, it’s often prescribed to treat PTSD, depression, insomnia, low libido, vertigo, alcohol withdrawal and, most notably, anxiety.

Phenibut on Wikipedia

  • $\begingroup$ Quite right. I asked this question before becoming familiar with phenibut, but I've been a weekly indulger for a while now. Funny coincidence, and good call! $\endgroup$
    – Brimby
    Jul 11, 2019 at 4:45

The correct answer is: Crystal Methamphetamine dose: 1 gram Ingest: eat, drink, or smoke

Ones inhibition will be completely be disabled. It will remove ones inhibition, so if you was shy to ask a girl out on a date... you will become more brave and bold. If you never cuss before you will be able to cuss with ease. If you was afraid to be embarrassed you wont. If you planning to wrong thing...you will and it will be alright to do it. If you felt stupid wearing sexy underwear,,, you wont, you will think it is okay. If you ever wondered about having Gay sex or multiple sex partners... you will do it with no hesitation and possibly want more.

This drug effects is does not make you high or drunk.. it will only empower you by losing your inhibition.

This observation is my personal study sampling over 125 individuals for a 5 year period as well as first hand experiencing its effects.

half life of this drug is 9 hours.



Chemically related to Ketamine, it is (or was) a research chemical having dissociative properties as wel as acting as a serotonine re-uptake inhibitor.

SSRI effect is heightened serotinine, which leads to:

  • confidence is increased
  • inhibitions are lowered
  • problems seem smaller

Dissociative effect leads to:

  • physical movement require more attention, however the focus on it can actually make one more supple and ballet-like, as well as quick.
  • environmental cues such as sound seem strange - rather than hear the rustle of leaves you hear the sound of each individual leaf.

So in your story, the person being does with this... At a lowish dose they might not notice but the effect might not be strong enough for your plot device. A higher dose would be noticable, but due to the effect, might not be a problem, especially if the person has a positive belief about it.

Too much can be a problem for your criterion number two, as with too much you can literally check every bike in a rack and skip over yours because you don't recognise it, then walk away thinking it has been stolen.

Criterion three: this would definitely be detectable in a beverage as it's quite bitter.

I have another mention that I just thought of while trying to get around the bitterness problem.

It's called Scopolamine. It needs a very perfect dose, as just a little too much and it can become deadly, however it basically makes someone suggestible to the point of no defense, and they forget all about it when it wears off.

It's administered by blowing it as a powder into someone's face.

One thing that, again may become a plot snag for you, is that I don't think there would be a way to get your character to be suggestible only to you and not to anyone else - Ie I think they become suggestible to everyone. One possible idea might be to use an earwig and keep reminding them what they're supposed to be doing, but that seems convoluted based on your description, not to mention difficult to pull off in a competition.

Really cool question though - thanks to you I now also know there's a stack exchange for world building, which is a really cool thing on its own!


Generally speaking, any mild sedative, at the correct dose, works as a disinhibitor, and most will have this effect before they show any other detectable effects such as loss of higher mental abilities (to do mental mathematics, for instance), significant loss of coordination and slowing of reflexes, drowsiness, and so forth.

My own experience with this comes from methocarbamol, a rather old drug commonly prescribed as a "muscle relaxer," in my case after a back injury -- as prescribed, it eased the pain (of a pinched sciatic nerve), but the drug itself is essentially a very mild sedative, and its effects go much like those of alcohol -- low doses result in disinhibition, large doses produce relaxation (this is the desired effect, at least in my case), slightly larger doses drowsiness and "drunken" physical performance reduction.

Even the most powerful sedatives have this chain of effects. It's a well known progression, for instance, with opiates (morphine, heroin, etc.), though in many cases the lower dosage effects will be masked by relief from withdrawal symptoms.



You don't apply it to someone's drink, though. You apply it to the palm of their hands. Or place it on the table and let them pick it.

Raw cellulose won't do, though. You need the kind that comes from special labs called 'mints'. They are marked with numbers which tell the concentration of the drug - the higher the better. Every country has a variety, with the leaves marked with the number 100 being the most potent. In the US these leaves also have drawings of some people on them - and the american variety called Benjamin (with Mr. Franklin drawn on it) is well known and accepted worldwide.

Flash a few dozen Benjamins at your target and you will notice that they may be very inclined to trade a favour for those.


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