Syrian War Drug: What Effects Does This Drug Have On Fighters In Syria? [Video]

Louis Babcock

A Syrian war drug is turning fighters in Syria into soldiers with almost superhuman abilities. The drug is call Captagon. Captagon is a potent amphetamine tablet and is considered highly addictive. When taken, Syrian fighters are able to stay awake for multiple days, and it also allows them to kill with recklessness. The drug also affects the mind in such a way that Syrian fighters feel nothing when they kill someone. Captagon essentially makes the person numb to any of the feelings a person would get when killing another human. The BBC was doing a documentary in September, and three men who have used the drug spoke about how it made them feel.

"You can't sleep or even close your eyes, forget about it. And whatever you take to stop it, nothing can stop it."

"I felt like I own the world high. Like I have power nobody has. A really nice feeling."

"There was no fear anymore after I took Captagon."

"I felt like I own the world high. Like I have power nobody has. A really nice feeling."

"There was no fear anymore after I took Captagon."

"Syrian government forces and rebel groups each say the other uses Captagon to endure protracted engagements without sleep, while clinicians say ordinary Syrians are increasingly experimenting with the pills, which sell for between $5 and $20."
"We would beat them, and they wouldn't feel the pain. Many of them would laugh while we were dealing them heavy blows. We would leave the prisoners for about 48 hours without questioning them while the effects of Captagon wore off, and then interrogation would become easier."

Masood Karimipour, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime regional representative, spoke with Voice Of America about the Syrian drug.

"Syria is a tremendous problem in that it's a collapsed security sector, because of its porous borders, because of the presence of so many criminal elements and organized networks. There's a great deal of trafficking being done of all sorts of illicit goods — guns, drugs, money, people. But what is being manufactured there and who is doing the manufacturing, that's not something we have visibility into from a distance."

Even though the drug is becoming popular among Syrian fighters, Saudi Arabia is still the main importer. According to Reuters, seven tons of Captagon were imported into Saudi Arabia in 2010. It is said that up to 50,000 Saudis end up in drug treatment each year from the use of Captagon.

Is this Syrian war drug going to become a bigger problem in the Syria conflict? With Syrian refugees flooding into Europe, will we begin to see Captagon use increase there?

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