Drug use in outer space

Discovery published an interesting article listing the different types of drugs NASA astronauts are on while on duty in outer space. This topic adds a whole new dimension to ‘being high’.

Here’s a summary of what astronauts indulge on in their missions:

Alcohol: Earth's most popular drug remains within somewhat of a grey area in orbit. Buzz Aldrin actually celebrated his arrival on the moon by imbibing communion wine.

Modafinil/Provigil: This brain-booster is not only widely used amongst university students and scientists, astronauts also use these pills to stay alert and awake. According to a 2009 report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Modafinil helps ISS crew members optimize their performances, no matter how fatigued they feel.

Scopolamine/Dexedrine: NASA provides their astronauts with a cocktail of Scopolamine (a drug that can turn victims into zombies) and Dextroamphetamine. This speedy mixture serves to prevent nauseau and vomiting.

Zoledronate: Zoledronate is taken to reduce bone loss. Bone loss? Yes, Astronauts lose about 10 times more bone every month than a postmenopausal woman on Earth loses.

Anti-moon dust pills: Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt called dust the No. 1 environmental problem on the moon. It covers the spacesuits and damages equipment. Some astronauts are allergic to the powdery dust, and that’s where these pills come in handy. Moon dust is also suspected to be highly toxic, and long term effects on the human body remain unknown.

Tranquilizers: Ah, tranquilizers. It never hurts to have some available, in case anyone goes all suicidal or psychotic in space. NASA recommends binding the individual's wrists and ankles with duct tape (ever the space traveler's friend!), strapping them down with a bungee cord and, if necessary, sticking them with a tranquilizer.

Read the full article on substance use in outer space here.