A viral Facebook post from Suburban Chicago has been shared dozens of times in the last 48 hours that describes a devious drug that criminals might try using to abduct young girls for human trafficking.

According to SNOPES.com the drug in question is know as burundanga.

"The alkaloids contained in burundanga (aka: scopolamine and atropine) are powerful toxins that at lower doses produce dry mouth, dizziness, sweating, and blurred vision, but at high doses can cause delirium and unconsciousness. Scopolamine has some legal medical applications, including its use as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, as a sedative, and as a motion sickness preventive.

Burundanga is sometimes termed a “zombie powder” and is regarded as a date rape drug. At higher doses, the drug can cause disorientation, memory loss, hallucinations, and convulsion, and its effects can last for days.

Burundanga-drugged victims have reportedly been found days after they’ve gone missing, wandering aimlessly with no clear idea of what happened to them.

Typically, the drug is slipped into the food or drink of intended victims, or is packed into cigarettes or sticks of gum which are then offered to the targets.

However, the Snopes report cautions:

There is controversy as to how much of their free will victims ultimately surrender under the drug’s sway. While there is little dispute that datura alkaloids do cause significant disorientation, there are those who believe burundanga’s supposed “brainwashing” effects are better understood in terms of disinhibition which causes people to act in ways they later regret.

While SNOPES has listed a series of possible abduction reports as FALSE, it is still possible that criminals may indeed be attempting to use the drug as described with this technique when approaching victims.

Regardless, the best advice is to always be aware of your situational surroundings and protect yourself when in unfamiliar places.

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