Narcotics are addictive, albeit illegal, substances used for their pleasurable side-effects, as opposed to combat drugs that are used to strengthen the body and mind for battle (notable on the battlefield, or in gladiatorial arenas). Narcotics can be ingested in a variety of forms. Most notable are being inhaled by smoking or injected directly into the bloodstream. Some narcotics share both methods, or take on other forms of use entirely. Smokable forms are commonly kept in paper cylinders, much like a common cigarette, and are ingested using an igniter and a form of filter. Injected versions are held in injector vials or other forms of containment. Narcotics can take many forms: rocks, glass, plants, gases, liquids, etc.
Since the dawn of time, humanity has used narcotics to alter their psychical, and psychological state. This is true of the 41st Millennium. The most common abused substance during this time are lho-leaf. Easy to obtain, the stick version (which is lit and inhaled via filters) is popular among the Imperium citizenry and military (in the case of the Imperial Guard and the various PDFs). It is a generally understood fact that every hive has a obscura-den located somewhere in it's massive structure, as obscura has become the second most widely abused narcotic in the whole of the Imperium.
- Obscura - A widely used though prohibited drug in the Imperium. It produces a pleasant dream-like state which lasts a few hours, but then turns into a deep depression once it wears off unless another dose is taken. It is highly addictive and has been known to be smoked and injected directly into the bloodstream.
- Lho-stick - A popular Imperial narcotic, much like a cigarette, made of a rolled paper tube containing a scented plant-derived substance. The tube is lit and the resultant smoke inhaled through it, causing a mildly narcotic sensation. Lho-sticks are addictive and are common amongst the Imperial Guard and menial workers.
- Flects - First truly noticed by the Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor. They are discovered to be psycho-active pieces of glass retrieved from Imperium patrolled and forbidden space. Flects are the pieces of window glass blown out from the devastated hives in Lucky Space, located near the Scarus Sector of Segmentum Obscurus. The pieces of hive glass had been exposed to the powers of a warp storm for several centuries. The name flects, is a word-play on "reflection" (coined by the low-stackers of Petropolis), in reference to the fact that when one looks into the piece of glass they see a "reflection" of the Warp. Sometimes it is a positive experience, other times it is not. Flects have been documented as being able to drive a human being insane, and are known to give a sense of euphoria upon gazing into its surface. They are undoubtedly Chaos-tainted. Notable users include Carl Thonius, Gideon Ravenor's Interrogator.
- Gladstones - Rocks that are slightly psyk-reactive. They can be held in the users palm of either hand, or held under the tongue. They have been documented to provide a sense of well-being (described as a warm, blissful sensation) and sublime for days, possibly weeks on a single use. However, as they alter the users state of mind, the Imperium has deemed them illegal. They are usually a pale stone (commonly yellowish in color), of small form, smooth sided, rounded and warm to the touch. They are mined on distant outworlds and are found to be extremely popular in twist clubs and lounges.
- Grinweed - Little is known about Grinweed except that it makes the user lose all sense of reality. The name "grinweed" originates from the fact that it is known to make the user "grin" upon ingestion. It takes the form of a plant, of unknown origin, that is reputably either made into a tea, or smoked much like lho-leaf.
- Sniff-Musk - Another little understood psycho-active drug. It is inhaled through the nose as a inhalant gas. It is usually concentrated and may be able to be utilized in an injection style ingestion. There are various purities ranging from cheap, dangerous concentrations to expensive, "pure" doses. The effect is has is relatively unknown, except that it alters the users mind-state and is deemed illegal by the Imperium. It is generally understood that sniff-musk is frequented among wealthy aristocrats, much like obscura.
- Penshel Seeds - A very mild stimulant that have fallen into near-disuse. They are an old favorite in the artists' quarter of Dorsay. The seeds are dried, rolled, and smoked in pipes.
- Spook - an addictive and highly illegal psychic drug manufactured in Necromunda. The drug is created from decayed synthdiet found beneath the hive cities.
- Black Lethe
- Crystal Ersatz
- Tyche's Kiss
- Amasec - A popular alcoholic beverage distilled from wine. Its quality can vary considerably, ranging from basic brews to well-aged brands suitable only for fine tastes.
- Tranq - A variety of artificial, alcoholic chem-distillates. Drinking it results in a numbing of the body and mind, and is an acquired taste as its effects are also unpleasant and depressive.
- Theosophist's Philtre - A heady, thick alcoholic beverage found on Archaos and is illegal under ancient law of that world. Drinking it is said to bring depth and clarity of thought. It is very rare and is valued as a sign of culture and wealth amongst the sophisticates of the Calixis Sector.
- Sacra - A spirit originally brewed on Tanith, before the planet was destroyed. The beverage of choice for the surviving men of Tanith.
- Wild Snake
- Second Best
- Rahzvod - a clear alcoholic drink from Vostroya, looks and tastes like vodka (there are many varieties depending on region of origin - some are slightly coloured by their ingredients)
The term "caffeine" is used to refer broadly to any beverage (usually served hot) which contains caffeine, especially by the Imperial Guard.
- Recaf - A popular hot beverage containing some form of stimulant such as caffeine or detoxified pharamoxine compounds.
- 1: Rogue Trader Rulebook, p.141-143
- 2: Gaunt's Ghosts Series
- 3: White Dwarf 130, Confrontation by Bryan Ansell, Rick Priestley and Nigel Stillman