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Drugs can be useful to gain temporary benefits of various sorts, but can lead to harmful addictions, negative side effects, and even overdose resulting in permanent ailments or death. Most drugs are crafted at the drug lab using either psychoid leaves or neutroamine. Beer, however requires hops and has an intermediate stage before fermenting called wort.

If you want to avoid drugs in your colony, you have the option of burning them at a campfire or crematorium, or forbidding them and selling them to a trader which is lucrative on the market. Binging pawns will take drugs even if they're forbidden though. The effects of drugs are modulated by body size, so smaller creatures need less beer to be drunk than bigger animals such as the Thrumbo.

Drugs can be assigned for regular taking through the drug policy system. Similar to Outfits, drug policies are an assigned schedule for taking drugs. You can set any number of drugs, each with a frequency. For example, you can assign a colonist to drink 2 beers every day, and take one Penoxycyline every 5 days. You can also toggle to use the drug to feed an addiction, separately from joy usage.

Drugs can also be administered through a medical operation. Animals may take drugs on their own if they are within their allowed areas.

Addiction and Tolerance

Addictions are a sad reality that most drug-using colonies must face. Without a continuous supply of drugs, withdrawal symptoms will kick in and your poor colonist will suffer. Luciferium has an instant addiction. Once taken, it will need to be taken regularly. Otherwise, the withdrawal from it will cause all sorts of mental breaks, eventually resulting in death.

Tolerance is the value related to addiction upon consumption of any drugs. It has a fixed buildup amount for each drug, and decreases each day afterwards. Tolerance gain is inversely proportional to body size, so smaller colonists (teenagers 0.85 vs normal 1.0) gain more tolerance per drug use. Colonists will have a chance of getting addicted once they cross a certain tolerance threshold. Safe consumption of drugs can be set in the restriction tab for drug usage.

When tolerant, the severity given per dose of the drug will decrease by a fixed amount, meaning that they will last shorter, and colonists will need to consume more of them.
Addiction also has the same effect, in addition to requiring the pawn get a regular dose of the drug to prevent withdrawal.

  • Drug High duration per dose Tolerance gain per dose Tolerance fall rate New addiction min tolerance New addiction chance Affected by body size Safe dose interval Safe doses at 0 tolerance
    Ambrosia 16.7 h 3.2% 2% / Day 15% 1% Yes 1.6 Days 4
    Psychite tea 7.2 h 3% 1.5% / Day 10% 2% Yes 2 Days 3
    Beer 4.8 h 1.6% 1.6% / Day 25% 1% Yes 1 Day 15
    Smokeleaf 12 h 3% 1.5% /Day 15% 2% Yes 2 Days 5
    Flake 7.2 h 4% 1.5% / Day 0% 5% Yes Never 0
    Yayo 12 h 4% 1.5% / Day 0% 1% Yes Never 0
    Wake-up 12 h N/A N/A 0% 2% No Never 0
    Go-juice 16.7 h N/A N/A 0% 2.6% No Never 0
    • Tolerance gain values are for size 1.00 pawns, or that of adult humans. Note that pawns with different sizes, such as teenagers or animals, may gain tolerance at an inverse ratio of their body size, if the drug has that property. For example, a small pawn at 0.5 body size taking Yayo will gain double the tolerance, and a larger pawn at 2.0 body size will only gain half the tolerance value.

    Tolerance impacts addiction chance in two ways. First, some drugs have a minimum tolerance to addict. Second, tolerance adds a multiplier to the native addiction chance of each drug as follows:

    Tolerance Multiplier Graph
    0% ×100%
    50% ×500%
    80% ×1500%

    Fighting Addictions

    Addiction Severity

    Time spent in withdrawal is calculated by multiplying addiction severity by recovery time. This means that the addiction takes longer to cure for each dose the addict takes to a maximum of 100%.

    Drug binges

    Colonists with either the Chemical Interest or Fascination traits as well as addicts may randomly have drug binges. Such colonists will ignore drug policies. This can cause a relapse from getting those colonists clean.

    Remove access to drugs

    Colonists can't take drugs that they can't reach. A drug binging colonist without access to that drug will only wander around until their senses are restored. Other withdrawal-based mental breaks are another story.

    To destroy drugs, you can burn them at a campfire. You can also sell them to passing traders that are interested in buying, or have a non-binging colonist take them away on a caravan.

    One alternative to keeping drugs out of the hands of binging addicts is to place the drugs in a room and wall up the entrance. This could also be done to the addict by trapping them but will become counterproductive once they become hungry. Another alternative, which may be quicker depending on the case, is to load the drugs in a transport pod and keep them there until the binge is over.

    'Rehab center'

    Instead of keeping the drugs from the addict, you can keep the addict from the drugs by imprisoning them and keeping them there until they're clean. Imprisoning them also contains the impacts of their mental breaks. You can arrest an addicted colonist by drafting another colonist and right clicking on the addict. Using force can have a negative social influence on the patient and increased mood debuffs that will make recovery even harder, especially if such measure was performed with weapons (healing will take longer and could injure the body badly). As with any combat, either or both of the addicted or the arresting colonist have the chance of injury or death. It may be best to wait until the withdrawal-suffering pawn collapses due to exhaustion or starvation, and then arrest them without the risk of a physical confrontation. If it must be done while they can stand, then it's wise to disarm this colonist before attempting to arrest them as they may resist and go berserk. Still, addicted colonists will usually go down quickly due to the consciousness penalty from withdrawal.

    Chatting with the imprisoned while they're getting clean will help train your warden's Social skill. Still, arresting any colonist will give them the accompanying thoughts of being imprisoned both during and afterward.

    This also works great for addicted prisoners as they're already imprisoned. It is recommended to keep them in their own cell though. Otherwise, they can go berserk and attack other prisoners. If you want to recruit such an addict, it's recommended to get them clean before recruiting. There's no use in releasing an addicted new recruit, only to throw them right back in their cell very soon.

    You can avoid the berserk state of a "drug rehab inmate" by installing and then removing peg legs to keep them incapacitated until new (and possibly better depending on technological level) replacement legs get reinstalled after the addiction ends. This trick can also be done by installing and removing a bionic spine which is half as costly as double bionic legs but does not make the pawn faster. Make sure you have prosthetics or bionics researched if you want to do this method of rehabilitation.


    Pawns on a caravan can't take drugs that aren't part of their drug policy. Furthermore, mental breaks in a caravan tend to have less serious consequences unless the caravan get ambushed. You can completely avoid any chance of ambush by keeping the caravan on top of another faction's settlement.



    Withdrawal will make the person feel a great mood drop and impair their stats, depending on the addicted drug. Once the withdrawal passes away, the colonist will feel good as new.

    During this time, you may want to give your colonist more time to enjoy himself. Giving him social drugs may help depending on the situation, but remember never to feed his addiction as this resets the withdrawal countdown, unless he's addicted to multiple drugs at the same time, in which it may be easier to deal with 1 drug addiction at a time.
    On the other hand, if they become incapacitated when the withdrawal symptoms hit all at once, it may be better to leave them like that, as they are unable to have mental breaks or such during the withdrawal period.

    The health overview tab which will display a counter with withdrawal percentage. The higher it gets, the closer to complete recovery (100%, though 99.5% is rounded to 100% in display).

    Healer mech serum

    Using the healer mech serum instantly treats non-luciferium drug addictions if there are no other serious health problems affecting the addict. This gives a convenient but somewhat costly way to bypass the lengthy withdrawal period. Note however healer mech serum cannot remove the luciferium need. There is no cure for luciferium addiction.


    Not surprisingly, different drugs have different effects, and some also have different effects depending how much is consumed. Some effects can be beneficial to a colonist or a colony, although many drugs have a mixture of good and bad effects, and some can be helpful to the colony as a whole while putting the individual colonist at great risk. Also, effects and duration can be reduced by tolerance to a drug.

    Note that many drugs have a chance of heart attack or instant addiction, even for a single, first use, and such chances are always increased when multiple drugs are active in a pawn's system at the same time - see the above section on addition & tolerance for more information.

    When and What to Use

    The table below lists the most common effects; see notes, below, for descriptions and for "other" effects.

    Note that Consciousness ("Consc") is an extremely important consideration when giving drugs for two primary reasons.

    First, any change in Consciousness translates directly to an identical change in both Manipulation and Moving, both of which cascade to other stats. Values listed under "Move" are separate for additional changes, and do not reflect any additional effect from a change in Consciousness.

    Second, Consciousness can be life-or-death for patients or any pawn that may have that stat additionally reduced for any reason. Any pawn loses consciousness when this falls below 30%, and dies when this reaches 0%. Note also that some drugs increase consciousness, which could be a lifesaver in situations where consciousness is threatening to drop to an undesirable level.

    Drug Time Consc Mood Rec Pain Rest Tired Moving Other
    Ambrosia 16.7 h - +5 50% - - - - +0.2 Nut
    Beer (1st*) 4.8 h - +10 17% ×90% - - - +0.08 Nut, see notes*
    Psychite tea 7.2 h - +12 40% ×90% +10% x80% -
    Smokeleaf joint 12 h -30% +13 80% -20% -10% - - -
    Flake 7.2 h - +35 70% ×50% - x33% - -
    Go-juice 16.7 h +20% +5 40% ×10% +40% x33% +50% see
    Wake-up 12 h +10% 0 40% - +100% x80% +10% +50% GWS
    see notes*
    Yayo 12 h - +35 80% ×50% - x33% +15% -

    Effect categories have been abbreviated to avoid an awkwardly large table. If several drugs share an effect, they are listed; drugs with (relatively) unique effects are listed in "other". Though some may be obvious, they are:

    • Time = the duration of effect of the 1st dose, measured in "hours". Note that a tolerance can reduce this time.
    • Consc = Consciousness
    • Rec = Recreation
    • Rest = a pawn's basic need for sleep
    • Tired = Rest Fall Rate, the rate at which a pawn loses Rest (i.e. how fast they become "Tired")
    • Moving = Moving capacity. Has a direct effect on movement speed and some other stats.
    • Other = Other effects; if not listed or for explanation, see Notes on specific drugs, below
    • Ambrosia - This has a nutritional value.
    • Beer - The 1st beer gives 98% Manipulation and also increases "Social Fight Chance" by x1.5. Beer also has a small nutritional value. Note that the very first beer has the effects listed, but additional beers can have additional negative effects, including a major drop in Consciousness. See Beer for more information.
    • Smokeleaf joint - Hunger rate offset +30% (i.e. the pawn gains hunger 30% faster).
    • Go-juice - +35% sight; restores +15% psyfocusContent added by the Royalty DLC. Note that 20% improved consciousness translates to +20% improved manipulation and talking, and improved sight also cascades to other stats, all together yielding a +20% increase in General Labor Speed, improved combat stats and in Medical Tend Quality and surgery success chances; see detailed effects of go-juice.
    Caution: A pawn high on go-juice only feels 10% of the pain they would otherwise be feeling. In combat, this usually means they are not "downed" from severe injuries, they fight until they win or are killed outright. For those literal "do or die" moments.

    Safety considerations

    To avoid the downsides of drugs, the following is advised:

    • Beer can be safely drunk every day, providing a decent +10 mood.
    • Psychite tea can be consumed every two days, providing an additional +12 mood.
    • If an ambrosia sprout happens, 200 or so ambrosia can be harvested and one consumed every 2 days (actually 1.6) for +5 mood.
    • Smokeleaf joints can also be smoked every 2 days, providing a +12 boost, but also massively reduces consciousness, and should thus be used sparingly.
    • Penoxycyline should be taken every 5 or 6* days to mitigate 3 dangerous diseases, however this might not be worth it if the current biome has a disease frequency less than 0.5.
    (* Penoxycyline lasts ~5.556 days, so it's up to you whether to take it a bit too often, or risk that down time.)

    Hard drugs should only be consumed in an emergency:

    • Yayo is useful for periods of heavy mood penalties such as family deaths and for difficult or lengthy combats. Providing a massive +35 mood, +10% Moving, halving pain, providing 80% recreation and both refilling the Rest need by 40% and reducing further Rest loss. It is a strong mood controller and a fairly potent combat drug, making pawns better fighters and preventing them from breaking, but with a 1 percent addiction chance each time, regardless of tolerance, it is not without risk. It also pales in comparison to go-juice in combat potential.
    • Flake should almost never be smoked although it is cheaper and provides the same mood buffs, it has a gigantic 5% addiction chance each. A key exception are perhaps Guests, as they will leave shortly and there is little practical downside to their their addiction.
    • Go-juice is an exceptionally potent combat drug, significantly reducing pain and buffing several key capacities and almost every stat. it also restores a modest amount of psyfocus Content added by the Royalty DLC. This is especially useful used when utilizing kiting combat tactics, as it increases the speed of a pawn by 50 percent.
    • Wake-up is very useful in situations where something needs to be finished as soon as possible or when a pawn cannot stop working, such as constructing solar panels during a toxic fallout power shortage, or letting your doctor keep saving lives after a devastating raid. It not only makes pawns work faster and better, it provides a full nights rest and significantly reducing rest fall rate, allowing pawns to work for almost three days straight.

    During the late game, when silver is plentiful, you can have two or three luciferium addicted colonists. Alternatively, you can go wild and just get everybody addicted to every drug in-game.


    Drugs, especially hard drugs, can be manufactured and sold for a large profit. Below are the optimal types of drugs for sale.


    Yayo costs 8 Psychoid leaves and is valued at 21 silver each. It weighs 50 grams and takes 6 work to make. On the other hand, flake takes 4 psychoid leaves and is valued at 14 silver each. It also weighs 50 grams and takes 5 work to make. Psychite tea, however, is the most inefficient. It takes the same amount of leaves as flake, but is 4 silver less valuable than it. On the market, flake is worth 2/3rds the silver of yayo, requires 80% of the Work To Make, and 50% of the ingredient costs. The most economical option depends on which is the greater bottleneck: converting the leaves to the drug, or producing the leaves in the first place.

    If converting the leaves into drugs is the bottleneck then there are two options. The psychoid leaves could be turned into yayo, however converting as much as possible to flake and then selling the remaining psychoid leaves themselves is even more efficient. For example, a pawn requires 35,000 ticks (9.72 mins) of work and 800 psychoid leaves to synthesize 100 yayo worth Silver 2100. With the same amount of work, a pawn could craft 140 flake worth Silver 1960 and consume 560 of the 800 psychoid leaves. The remaining 240 psychoid leaves are worth Silver 456 for a total of Silver 2416. This is not without its downsides however - fewer traders accept psychoid leaves than accept drugs and without refrigeration, the leaves will eventually rot away. Thus, if the player is likely to caravan to a settlement or receive a relevant trader before they rot entirely away, or can accommodate the refrigeration of leaves long term, converting to flake and selling the remainder of leaves is ideal. If they cannot, converting to yayo for storage may be necessary. If psychoid leaf production is the bottleneck and there is insufficient leaf supply to fully occupy your drug synthesizers' time, producing flake is the optimum as it produces more value per leaf at the cost of more work.

    If caravan weight is a limiting factor, yayo is worth more proportional to mass, however the low weight of all the options mean this is unlikely to be relevant as a single muffalo can carry almost 20 stacks of flake worth over 20,000 silver.

    Other Hard Drugs

    Wake-up and Go-juice are both made from 2 neutroamine, with go-juice costing an additional unit of yayo. Wake-up is valued at 28 silver and takes 14 units of work to make. Go-juice is valued at 53 silver and takes 50 units of work to make. Because these hard drugs use neutroamine for production, it is generally unadvised to use these as profit drugs because neutroamine is both expensive and can not be made. It is better used for high-quality medicine.


    Drug Ingredients Work to Make Minimum Skills Market Value
    Wake-up Neutroamine 2 900 ticks (15 secs) Intellectual 35 Silver
    Penoxycyline Neutroamine 2 600 ticks (10 secs) - 18 Silver
    Flake Psychoid leaves 4 250 ticks (4.17 secs) Intellectual 14 Silver
    Yayo Psychoid leaves 8 350 ticks (5.83 secs) Intellectual 21 Silver
    Psychite tea Psychoid leaves 4 400 ticks (6.67 secs) Cooking 2 10 Silver
    Smokeleaf joint Smokeleaf leaves 4 450 ticks (7.5 secs) Cooking 11 Silver
    Go-juice Neutroamine 2  + Yayo 1 600 ticks (10 secs) Intellectual 53 Silver
    Beer Wort 1 ticks (0 secs) - 12 Silver

    Social drugs

    Ambrosia a.png


    A soft, rare fruit. Ambrosia tastes wonderful and produces a subtle mood-increasing chemical high. However, if eaten too often, it can generate a mild addiction.

    Ambrosia is a raw social drug that moderatly boosts mood and recreation at relatively low risk of addiction.

    Beer a.png


    The first beverage besides water ever consumed by mankind. Beer can taste good, but its main effect is intoxication. Excessive consumption can lead to alcohol blackouts and, over time, addiction.

    Tea a.png

    Psychite tea

    A fragrant tea infused with leaves of the psychoid plant. Drinking it induces a subtle psychite euphoria. This tea is easy to produce at cooking facilities, but can produce psychite addiction if consumed too often.
    Many tribes use psychoid tea, both as a daily energizer and as part of social and religious rituals.

    Psychite tea is a relatively safe social drug that greatly improves mood, slightly reducing pain and the rate in which pawns get tired, at the risk of addiction and overdose. It is relatively very easy to research compared to other drugs, especially for Tribal colonies who suffer a speed penalty while researching more advanced drugs.

    Joint a.png

    Smokeleaf joint

    Smokeleaf leaves prepared in small rolls for smoking. The drug improves mood, but also increases appetite, reduces focus and slows movement. Smokeleaf use can produce a dependency.
    Joints can be produced at a crafting spot without equipment, and are a fixture in many traditional low-industriousness cultures.

    Smokeleaf joints are social drugs that are relatively safe to use, easy to produce, and provide a moderately potent mood and recreation buff, balanced by some drawbacks. Care should be taken however, as the consciousness debuff its high inflicts can cause death in pawns with already lowered consciousness.

    Hard drugs



    A flaky white preparation of psychite that can be smoked to induce a short but powerful euphoric state. While it is cheap to produce and extremely pleasurable to use, it is exceptionally addictive. Flake is known for destroying lives, communities, and entire societies.

    Flake is potent mood enhancing hard drug that significantly improves the mood of a pawn and provides additional bonuses, at the risk of addiction and overdose. It is cheaper than yayo, but comes with additional maluses.

    Gojuice a.png


    A synthetic performance-enhancing drug developed for space marines during the early days of interplanetary warfare. Go-juice blocks pain, increases movement speed, and improves the user's melee and shooting abilities. The military chemists who created it were never able to remove its addictiveness. Some saw this as a downside; others saw it as a benefit.

    Go-juice is a potent hard combat drug that almost completely blocks pain and significantly improves a pawn's capabilities, at the risk of addiction and overdose.

    Wakeup a.png


    A synthetic stimulant. Wake-up fills the user's need for rest, allowing them to work for extended periods without getting tired. However, taking wake-up runs the risk of developing an addiction.
    In the most competitive universities and companies of many worlds, high-achievers are sometimes called 'wake-ups' because of the association with this drug.

    Wake-up is a powerful but mildly dangerous stimulant drug. It fully fills the rest need immediately upon use, and reduces the rate that rest need is lost during the high. It also greatly increases a pawn's global work speed, and also gives a modest boost to a number of stats via its capacity boosts. However, it cannot be used safely - any use carries the risk of an instant addiction, and of an instant overdose. There is also a low risk of heart attack for the duration of the high.

    Yayo a.png


    A refined powdery preparation of the psychite drug. When snorted, it produces a rapid euphoric high, dramatically reduces the user's need for rest, and suppresses pain. Like all forms of psychite, it is addictive, though it is not as addictive as the cruder flake.\n\nBecause of its high cost and refined appearance, many cultures associate yayo with degenerate wealth. Whether in the throneroom or the boardroom, many hare-brained policy schemes have been developed during yayo-fueled binge parties.

    Yayo is potent mood enhancing hard drug that significantly improves the mood of a pawn and provides additional bonuses, at the risk of addiction and overdose. It is also used in the manufacturing of go-juice.

    Medical drugs

    Luciferium a.png


    A concoction of mechanites that dramatically improve the body's functioning in all respects. Over time, it can even heal old scarred-over wounds or brain damage, though it cannot regenerate lost limbs. Unfortunately, without the moderating effects of regular doses every five or six days, the mechanites lose cohesion, causing continuous berserk rages and, eventually, death.
    After the first dose, there is no way to get the mechanites out, ever.
    On the urbworlds, they call Luciferium the 'Devil's Bargain'. Many have been forced to kill friends when no more of the seductive red pills could be found.

    Penoxycyline b.png


    A drug for preventing infections before they take hold. Blocks malaria, sleeping sickness, plague.[sic] Must be taken every five days to remain effective.
    This drug only prevents new infections. It does not cure existing infections - even those that are not yet discovered.