Study Guide

Blood Red Road Drugs and Alcohol

By Moira Young

Drugs and Alcohol

Have you ever heard of chaal, kids? It's the hot new drug sweeping the post-apocalyptic wasteland in Blood Red Road. Careful, though—this stuff is nasty. It causes lethargy in low doses, but if you take too much, you get more violent than an MMA fighter in a bad mood. To make things even worse, the chaal trade is dominated by a dude named Vicar Pinch, the most ruthless criminal kingpin this side of, well, Kingpin. Yikes. Despite taking place in the distant future, this novel ends up delivering a strong anti-drug message for the modern age.

Questions About Drugs and Alcohol

  1. Is there a real-world analogy to chaal? If so, explain.
  2. What will be the consequences of the chaal fields being destroyed?
  3. In what ways does the novel relate drugs to violence?
  4. Could the King stay in power without chaal? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Chaal does not have a specific real-world analogy; instead, it embodies the qualities of many different substances.

The novel links drug use to violence through its depiction of the crowd at cage-fighting matches.