So you're writing a science fiction story or script about a hot new drug, that all the kids are licking or sticking or smoking. And you want a name for this drug that screams "awesome" and sounds like something the kids would go apeshit over. But all the cool names, like KillKillKill and Pink Robots, are already taken. What do you do? Why not call your fictional drug Rapture? After all that name has only been used a zillion times before in science fiction — as well as being the street name of a real-life drug. What's one more time?
Here are all the works of science fiction (so far) which have featured a drug named Rapture:
In the episode "Rapture," a scuzzy teenager named Justin Deckard manages to get a formula for a super-drug from the alien Sentients, who live on the Internet (sort of.) The drug links everyone who uses it telepathically, into a sort of gestalt, and gives you psionic powers that let you give other people nosebleeds and eyebleeds. Justin wants to use it to turn all his "friends" into a "hard drive" to give his own brain extra processing power. But it ends up making weird veins splotch out on his face, and then he has a druggy freakout and drives off a cliff. See clip above for how awesome a Rapture rave can be.
Miguel O'Hara wants to quit his job at Alchemax, the evil company in the year 2099. But his boss (and secretly his dad) Tyler Stone doesn't want him to quit — so at Miguel's farewell dinner, Tyler spikes his drink with Rapture, a drug that bonds with your DNA to make you addicted for life. I forget exactly what the high from Rapture looks like, but it didn't seem that fun when I read this comic a decade ago — just sort of trippy. In any case, Alchemax is the only supplier of Rapture, so Miguel has to stay working for them or suffer horrible, unending withdrawal pains. Miguel instead decides to restore his DNA from a stored version, but his DNA gets mixed with spider DNA — turning him into Spider-Man.
Sagramanda by Alan Dean Foster:
In the not-too-distant future, Sagramanda is an Indian city of 100 million people — and it's plagued by a serial killer named Jena Chalmette, who is high on the drug Rapture-4. Writes Foster: "It sharply enhanced her emotions and heightened her perceptions. She believed it also altered the reality around her." It's also referred to as "Full-on Shakti," and Foster mentions that it causes visions.
City of Heroes
This happy MMORPG was terrorized by a new designer drug named Rapture that made its users "moody" and even more violent than usual. The drug also gives users greater strength and endurance and changes their body chemistry for some unknown, yet sinister, purpose. MAGI Investigators finally tracked down a drug lab in Skyway City, where it turned out "renegade Trolls" had been manufacturing the drug. The drug is a derivative of another substance known as Rapture X. Dood!
Demons have invaded the streets with a drug called Rapture (the ultimate high) that has half the human population hooked. I found this social commentary very refreshing and honest, as opposed to other films about addiction where we are asked over and over again to feel sorry for the addict. The drug is used to cloud their minds so the demons can use them as slaves and can use the women as vessels to impregnate and carry more demons, only these are half-breeds - demon and human mixed. Thus creating a "new breed" to control the planet.
"Into The Black" by Ally Blue
A gritty slash fic story set in a dystopian space colony. A gangster's mistress has been cheated of ten grams of the awesome drug Rapture, and there will be hell to pay. So what does the drug do? Not sure. Here's the description: "Rapture was horribly addictive and expensive, but was nevertheless wildly popular on the space stations orbiting the Outer Planets, where the air reeked of tight-packed humanity and despair and everyone wanted an escape, however temporary."
The real-life drug
And finally, there's a dietary supplement known as Piperazine — but the street name is Rapture. It causes psychotic episodes in some people who are unlucky enough to try it. It's a stimulant, but even when it works properly it's not that great, according to one guy who tried it:
I chose Rapture, which promised me "an intense mind and body sensory experience". Starting with one pill (just in case my head imploded, or a giant ringworm shot out of my stomach), I began a merry game of Circle Of Death. After about an hour I was still yawning and didn't feel much like going out. So I had another pill. One whole hour later there was still no effect, so I took the last of my recommended dose... At first I thought the pills were utter crap, as I yawned my way into the Outback (I'd had a long drive that day), but after a backdraft and some cheap chocolate mudshakes I realized that I was actually getting drunk backwards. I know that makes no sense.
Basically, instead of the whole world spinning and everything becoming a blur, with me feeling like the only one standing straight, the world sat perfectly still and clear - a little too clear - and I felt myself moving.
Greatest drug in the universe.... or kind of a crappy high? That seems to be the one thing all of these versions have in common. Oh, and there's also this wacky satirical piece about British priests selling a drug called Rapture to convert new believers to their dwindling flocks.