I have read a few odd things about Slo-mo, some people clearly don’t see it the same as me. One person even thought that as Slo-mo slowed down perception so 1 second seemed like 100 it would make someone a better driver. So I am laying down my observations of Slo-mo.
What type of Drug is Slo-mo?
Slo-mo is described by Dredd as a narcotic, in other words it is a mind altering substance. When the term is correctly used it refers to drugs with sleep-inducing properties.
What are the affects of Slo-mo?
Users of Slo-mo get lost on the details they can see. The first two examples we see both need multiple attempts to pull then back to reality. Zwirner, the perp in the vehicle chase, doesn’t register that there is a Judge shooting at them. Ma-ma is captivated by the water dripping off her raised arm, Caleb has to repeat her name several times to get her attention.
Clearly the user isn’t reacting at 100 times normal speed. Their brain is still running at normal time, at best. If anything the distorted input the brain is trying to make sense of is probably slowing down reactions.
Escape, that is what users of Slo-mo are probably looking for. An escape from the ugly lives they lead. At the speed that the user is observing almost anything can be beautiful, the way light bounces off something, the droplets of water, the movement of an insect’s wing. The users are lost in a moment of beauty.
In the Slo-mo den the two young men we saw go in and be handed inhalers by Kay don’t appear able to pull themselves back to real time. The one who tries to shoot at Dredd saw the lock fly off and still couldn’t react to Dredd, even though Dredd shot him last.
Is Slo-mo addictive
Zwirner and his associates are wanted for multiple offences, we do not know whether these are drug related. However it seems reasonable to assume that, as they were in possession of Slo-mo, they were users.
Ma-ma has a pile of inhalers beside her bath, she certainly isn’t a casual user.
At least one of the corpses in the atrium has a cold burn from a Slo-mo inhaler. The victims were all known drug addicts from what Control tell Dredd. However as the burn tells Dredd that he was drugged when he died it would seem the burn is from each use, or possibly through careless use.
There seems to be enough to suggest the drug is addictive.
Slo-mo is illegal
We don’t know that the more extreme laws from the comic exist in the film, sugar, coffee, etc being illegal. We do know that Slo-mo is illegal. So there are likely other adverse effects that we don’t see.
Possession & use of a controlled substance, 2 years in the iso-cubes.