Knowing that there are some potions or magic that have drug-like side effects (Liquid Luck, for example makes Harry seem positively high and the Love Potion makes Ron seem literally drunk [with love]), those effects are not the main intention.

Are there any example of purely recreational spells or potions that are used in the Potter Universe?

I'm also interested in any performance enhancers, memory spells or painkilling spells/potions that are abused by intentionally overdosing.


1 Answer 1


There are quite a few substances, charms and plants seen in the Harry Potter universe that are analogous to drugs:

The "Euphoria Elixir" mentioned in Half Blood Prince.

  • The primary effect is to induce a state of 'inexplicable, irrational happiness'.

Cheered by this thought, Harry skimmed through his copy of Advanced Potion-Making and found a heavily corrected Half-Blood Prince’s version of An Elixir to Induce Euphoria, which seemed not only to meet Slughorn’s instructions, but which might (Harry’s heart leapt as the thought struck him) put Slughorn into such a good mood that he would be prepared to hand over that memory if Harry could persuade him to taste some

‘Well, now, this looks absolutely wonderful,’ said Slughorn clapping his hands together an hour and a half later, as he stared down into the sunshine-yellow contents of Harry’s cauldron. ‘Euphoria, I take it? And what’s that I smell? Mmmm … you’ve added just a sprig of peppermint, haven’t you? Unorthodox, but what a stroke of inspiration, Harry. Of course, that would tend to counterbalance the occasional side-effects of excessive singing and nose-tweaking … I really don’t know where you get these brainwaves, my boy … unless –’

The "Cheering Charm" mentioned in Prisoner of Azkaban

  • The primary effect is to 'make a person happy' however, when overdone it can create a stupor and fits of hysterical laughter

‘She could’ve done with a Cheering Charm on her, too,’ said Ron, as the class left for lunch, all grinning broadly – the Cheering Charms had left them with a feeling of great contentment.


Then, after a hasty lunch, it was straight back upstairs for the Charms exam. Hermione had been right; Professor Flitwick did indeed test them on Cheering Charms. Harry slightly overdid his out of nerves and Ron, who was partnering him, ended up in fits of hysterical laughter and had to be led away to a quiet room for an hour before he was ready to perform the Charm himself.

Alihotsy, mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • Mentioned in Fantastic Beasts, Alihotsy (also known as the Hyena tree) is described as a magical tree, the leaves of which can induce hysteria and uncontrollable laughter.

The Glumbumble (northern Europe) is a grey, furry-bodied flying insect that produces melancholy-inducing treacle, which is used as an antidote to the hysteria produced by eating Alihotsy leaves.

The Trading Card Game also suggests that the leaves can be brewed into a draught and that drinking it (or inhaling the fumes) will induce the same hysteria...

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Billywig Stings, as mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

  • The primary effect is giddiness and uncontrollable levitation

Those who have been stung by a Billywig suffer giddiness followed by levitation. Generations of young Australian witches and wizards have attempted to catch Billywigs and provoke them into stinging in order to enjoy these side effects

Giggle Water contains Chuckle Extract.

  • Its primary effect seems to be to induce uncontrollable laughter

enter image description here

  • 1
    No in-story pain pill addicts or study drugs?
    – user16696
    Jun 15, 2014 at 21:39
  • 5
    @cde - I think that deserves a second question. Memory spells or pain-relief spells aren't 'recreational'
    – Valorum
    Jun 15, 2014 at 22:14
  • Could add harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Dancing_Feet_Spell for a fun ol' time!
    – Möoz
    Jun 15, 2014 at 22:37
  • 1
    Do they have negative side-effects on your health, withdrawal symptoms, and do they cause addiction? If neither, then they cannot really be compared to muggle drugs.
    – vsz
    Jun 16, 2014 at 6:19
  • 2
    @vsz physical addiction vs psychological addiction. And some recreational drugs don't produce addiction or withdrawal in muggle world either.
    – user16696
    Jun 16, 2014 at 12:09

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