|First Seen:||Kick It Up|
Kick is the street name for a drug that enhances mutant powers, but with the risk of severe physical and psychological addiction and other side effects.
The drug itself is a mixture of chemicals that accomplish two things. First, it produces an intense high by acting on various neurotransmitters. And second, it temporarily enhances a mutant's powers by affecting expression of the x-factor gene. Both effects are accompanied by lows; a mild depression following the high, and a serious dip in power levels following the enhancement. Kick is highly addictive.
Kick is commonly found in one of two forms: a powder that is insufflated (like freebase cocaine), or in an aerosol form administered via an asthma inhaler. The latter is the more popular (yet more expensive and more potent) form of the drug. Particles are absorbed by the mucus lining of the nasal cavity and distributed to the central nervous system. Neurons are stimulated to release neurotransmitters and prevent reuptake. This change in emotional state leads to altered expression of the regulatory x-factor gene (because mutation is inherently linked to one's emotions), sending signals to the tissues that express associated genes to increase their respective expression. When the neurotransmitters have been reabsorbed by the neurons, the subject crashes so the body can recover. Prolonged usage (i.e., just two or three tries) alters neurons so proper neurotransmission after reuptake requires either significant stimulation or more Kick.