Vixilin

Also known as "Redeye"

CONTENT WARNING!

References to drug abuse, overdosing, mental illness and addiction.

Vixilin, a treatment for mental ailments turned designer drug. Vixilin, better known as "Redeye" on the street, is a popular drug among both the affluent and the downtrodden, but being equally harmful to both.

"Fuck!"

Kesla threw the injector across the room, but only managed to drop it at her feet. The shakes were bad. Real bad. She spat after the infernal thing.

"Lie down." Yodrek's voice was calm. He had just taken his dose and was already drifting off on the waves of bliss. "I'll help you."

Kesla attempted to do as he asked, her arm flailing out to knock over several alcohol bottles on the table next to her. Eventually, she managed to coax her body onto its back. She was nearly convulsing, the cold sweat turning her shirt into an adhesive blanket. "Hurry up, will you?" she whinced.
— The effects of long term Redeye abuse and withdrawal.

Vixilin was devised as a treatment for schizophrenia, paranoia and similar mental ailments. In healthy individuals it works almost oppositely, functioning as a strong dissociative hallucinogen. It has since become an incredibly popular street-drug, under the name "Redeye". It is a clear, somewhat viscous liquid administered through the eyeball and directly affects the brain through the visual nerves. This causes the blood vessels of the eye to dilate, leaving the eyes severely bloodshot, giving the drug its nickname. The rush of Redeye is described as watching the world through a color-intensifying filter and some individuals describe it as if their perception of the world is in slow-motion. Most individuals also experience severe depersonalization with their own body and mind, experiencing it as if they were watching themselves as a third person.

Intended use

Vixilin wasn't always a street-drug, and as far as law is concerned, still isn't. Vixilin is marketed as several brands of medical compounds to treat mental ailments such as schizophrenia, paranoia and general disassociation in primarily dru'un, illim and kuna, even though hessak and vindral do receive diminished effects from the compound. The vindral in particular get barely any effect from taking Vixilin, whether in large or small doses.

The first commercially available drug was called Apexlin and was developed by Seris Medical. For many years it was a commercially available product, able to be bought by just about anyone who had the cash. However, after Seris noticed the harmful effects of Apexlin abuse in non-schizophrenic people, they moved to make the drug restricted.

Administration

The Vixlin is administered via a small transdermal injector through the cornea of the eyeball. The drug acts by stimulating the visual nerves directly, and the active substances are transported along the visual nerve to it's designated places in the target brain. The drug causes the blood vessels of the eye to dilate, which leaves the eyes looking exceptionally bloodshot, giving the drug it's nickname "Redeye".

Street use

Redeye is one of the more popular, albeit expensive, street drugs in Fusion City. While local dealers and smaller labs exist to produce knockoffs of the drug, the largest supplier of Redeye is the Zanga Brotherhood. Redeye dealing and production is one of their most profitable ventures. The Zanga trade both in legitimate drugs, stolen from medical transports, warehouses and the like, as well as knockoff products produced by black market labs.

Active substance
Vixilin
Commercial names
Apexlin
Mokuolin
Vixilin
Street names
Redeye
Glimmer
Slow-mo
Inventor
Seris Medical
Legal suppliers
Seris Medical
Seris Incorporated
Street dealers
Zanga Brotherhood - Main supplier
Various street gangs

Related Reading

Fusion City
Settlement | Sep 3, 2021

Fusion City is the world's only surviving megacity. A colossal, domed city built in three levels, housing over a hundred million people.

Seris Medical
Organization | Jan 21, 2021

A subsidiary of Seris Incorporated, SerMed develops cybernetic implants and medical solutions.

Zanga Brotherhood
Organization | Jan 19, 2021

The Zanga Hoshuda, or the "Brothers of Zanga", are a collection of high class criminals who run several illegal businesses around Fusion City. Drugrunning, gambling dens and trafficking. They have no tolerance for failure or weakness.

Desired side-effect

When taken it in sufficient dosages, Redeye will cause a strong disassociative and perception distortions. An individual on large doses of Redeye will feel as if they are observing the world from the outside, in spite of still seeing with their own eyes. In addition, their vision will generally be as if someone turned up the color grading and contrast of the world. Everything is sharped, brighter and more luminous. Common effects also include heightened mental processing speed in the visual cortex, leading to an experience where you perceive the world in slow-motion. The effect usually lasts for about a hour before subsiding, depending on the dose. Larger doses last for shorter time.

Depending on the individual, they may be after the perceptive disturbances as their high, or they may be after the strong depersonalization that happens when the drug is overdosed beyond recommended dosages. It is somewhat ironic that a drug to treat paranoia and disassociation has such a strong depersonalization effect on a healthy individual and in large doses. Someone in great physical or mental pain, such as anxiety, stress or strong depression may experience the depersonalization to be a relief from their own troubles. They get to observe themselves and their surroundings as if they were someone else, not connected to their own body or mind. It has the potential to be extremely addictive to certain people.

Addiction and withdrawal

While Vixilin is extremely addictive to people who self-medicate to escape physical pain or mental ailments, it also has strong withdrawal effects on healthy individuals as well. Vixilin alters the brain chemistry in certain ways that produce strong withdrawal and malaise when not taken regularly, leading to a self-reinforcement addiction both through the effect of the drug and the withdrawal effects. The body wants more Vixilin and because of this, Vixilin must be carefully administered with carefully calculated intervals in order to avoid the withdrawals, while keeping the addiction in check. Needless to say, street users care little for these calculated intervals and doses.

Shivers and cold-sweat are both common ailments associated with Vixilin-withdrawal, as are strong muscle cramps in the eye muscles coupled with strong headaches and migraines. Extreme cases can lead to uncontrolled muscle cramps and twitches in the rest of the body.

Hangover and side-effects

The dose lasts for less than an hour when taken by a healthy individual, and generally the larger the dose, the faster and stronger the effect, meaning larger doses last for shorter time. When the effect subsides a person may feel a stronger sense of depersonalization, but in a very different manner. It is common to feel like you're being "pulled" back into your body, but when the drug's effect ends, you depersonalize again. Only this time you are trapped in a body you do not identify with and feel like a stranger inside. Your mind is suddenly trapped in a body you don't recognize.

For particularly strong doses, this depersonalization effect can last for up to 15-20 minutes and be quite strong, leading to anxiety and stress. Indidivuals with existing heart diseases may experience heart-attacks due to the increased stress. Headaches and nausea are common side-effects. Particularly bad downs can result in a person temporarily losing sense of where they are and who the are, feeling lost and confused for several hours.

Legality

Vixilin is considered a restricted substance, meaning it may only be handled and sold by authorized individuals, commonly being corporate medical officers. Anyone else being caught handling, selling or even using Vixilin will likely be incarcerated and risk docking their citizen class for possession of restricted substances.

Vixilin is quickly absorbed and metabolised by most species, with the exception of vindral, who can take several days to work through even a modest dose of Vixilin. Most other people who take Vixilin will test positive only for a couple of hours after taking the dose after which the chemical is broken down to the point where a test is useless to prove anything.

Black market

However, because of the extreme profitability in selling Vixilin to both addicts and "party-poppers", Vixilin is very common on the black markets of Fusion City. The aforementioned Zanga Brotherhood trades in large-scale deliveries of Redeye to resellers, acting as the main supplier in the city. Where they get the Vixilin isn't entirely known, but it's assumed it's a combination of production and theft from medical transports and warehouses.

The Psion population

Thanks to its capability of "removing one from oneself", Vixilin is commonly used as self-medication, a common first step into addiction because of the drug's extraordinary addictive properties. No other group in society is more prone to mental illness, stress and anxiety than psions and the drug has an interesting, amplified effect on them. While distressed psions can suffer from psychogenic dejection leading to actual mind/body depersonalization, Vixilin allows them to experience the same relief without actually putting themselves and others in danger. Beyond the dangers of the drug itself, naturally.

Dangers

Aside from the extensive stress the drug puts on the pulmonary and circulatory systems when the person comes off the high and it's strong withdrawal qualities, long-term use of Vixilin, particularly in the large doses common among users, is inevitably fatal. Vixilin can be used as treatment to give sufferers of mental ailments a better quality life, but unfortunately also shortens their lifespan. Those who use the drug for unintended treatments, such as escaping ill mental health or physical pain, rather than actual disassociative disorders or schizophrenia will generally take larger doses more frequently. When taken in large doses and often, Vixilin works to break down the myelin sheath protecting the nerves of the spinal cord. This leads to nerves touching each other and signals being misdirected and distorted. Initially this leads to shakes and twitches, but will eventually lead to a person being incapable of normal locomotion, their muscles being sent the wrong signals.

Most individuals don't live long enough to become fully paralysed, although that's not really the correct word. Vixilin abuse-victims can move, just not in the way they intend, so their ability to do anything meaningful becomes inhibited. However, Vixilin tends to focus its myelin breakdown around nerves that manage the subconscious functions of the body, such as heart regulation, breathing and digestion. It's easy to see how a disruption in those functions will lead to a premature death.



Cover image: by CC BY, Modified by Tobias Linder

Comments

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24 Apr, 2021 16:41

I have no experience with drugs, but the article rang true to me. The little section of prose at the beginning was intense.   It's really interesting how it was originally for medicinal purposes and then has become a problem on the streets. Although THE EYEBALL?! Whyyyy?   'Vixilin abuse-victims can move, just not in the way they intend, so their ability to do anything meaningful becomes inhibited.' This is very similar to a symptom of the neurological disorder I have - I don't recommend it! :D   Really interesting article.

24 Apr, 2021 20:10

The progressive degeneration of movement is based on a condition known as multiple sklerosis. If that's what you have, my condolences.   Also eyeball? Why? Exactly because that reaction. ;)

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
24 Apr, 2021 20:19

Thankfully not MS, but I definitely recognised it in your descriptions. :)   Haha, certainly got a reaction from me! :D

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