If you break down drugs to their basic components, becoming so addicted to them starts to seem weird. Cannabis and cigarettes are essentially inhaling the smoke of a dried plant. Alcoholic beverages are different types of fermented foods mixed in a way to become ingestible. Many hallucinogens break down natural fauna to distort your perspective.

But the many common drugs on the market are far from the strangest substances people will abuse for emotional highs or relaxing. With many of these substances either banned or under strict control, addicts will try all kinds of bizarre alternatives to create the same effect.

Whether or not these methods are safe, sanitary, or healthy isn’t a concern for the many drug addicts desperately clinging for an escape. However, they do prove just how far a person is willing to go and how dangerous their addiction can be.


Huffing itself is an action rather than a drug. However, it is the supplies needed for huffing that can come off as bizarre. With huffing, a person will inhale a gas or vapor for a rush or feeling high. Some substances will be inhaled directly, while others soak in cloth or rags and are breathed in.

Common substances used for huffing include gasoline, permanent markers, highlighters, spray can foods, acetone products like nail polish remover, glue, and nitrous oxide—or laughing gas.

Many of these materials are common household items, making them all the easier to abuse if a person becomes addicted.

Cooked Concoctions

While in prison, resources, ingredients, and contact from the outside world are limited. This makes it incredibly difficult to obtain drugs, which is why prisoners have found alternatives to create themselves.

With the use of sugary substances, such as ketchup, fruit, or candy, prisoners combine these with bread acting as yeast to allow the mixture to ferment and create an alcoholic beverage. This is known as “pruno” and has a 14% alcohol concentration.

Animal Substances

Some of the most desperate attempts for a drug fix will often come from the most bizarre places and attempts—and some have actually worked.

Perhaps you have seen the Family Guy episode “Let’s Go to the Hop,” which was about high school students licking toads for a psychedelic experience. As it turns out, this is an actual phenomenon that wasn’t simply a joke for a comedy show. Certain amphibians of the Bufonidae family secrete poison through their skin that can create hallucinogenic effects by ingesting it.

Related to poison, some people have injected and abused small dosages of snake venom as a drug. While the venom does not cause psychoactive effects, it can create immunity for the venom itself.

To add to the weirdness, reindeer urine can also be abused for psychoactive effects. This is because reindeer eat fly agaric mushrooms in their diets. Though the mushrooms themselves can be eaten raw, doing so can cause symptoms of nausea and vomiting. It was later discovered, however, that these negative side effects are removed after passing through a reindeer’s urinary system, making it a safer (although unsanitary) drug to abuse.

There are many extremes to drug abuse. While the weirdest alternatives may not be the most dangerous, they can still make for poor hygiene and unhealthy addictions. These addictions should be monitored and addressed just as much as drinking or smoking.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Recovery Program or our Long Term Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.


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