Many people wonder how ISIS militants can perform the dreadful acts they do. It seems the drug Captagon might be one of the reasons the terrorists feel invincible, unstoppable and have absolutely no fear.
Captagon is a powerful medication that combines two drugs, theophylline and amphetamine. Currently mass-produced on Syria’s black market, the pills are considered to be highly addictive. Users feel euphoric, their senses are amplified and sleep is impossible. Captagon causes a numbing effect, meaning the consumer feels no pain.
The Washington Post recently published an article about the prevalence of drug usage by Islamic State fighters. The drug reportedly gives the user unbelievable strength and energy, allowing them to stay awake for several days, all the while committing dreadful acts, while feeling absolutely great.
— The Anti Media (@TheAntiMedia1) November 27, 2015
A major problem is that the drug is considered to be highly addictive and one of the side effects is psychosis and possible brain damage, but as an aid in ISIS’s horrific agenda, is the perfect tool.
As ISIS becomes a global threat, responsible for the majority of terrorists attacks and mass genocides these days, world leaders scramble to find ways to fight this threat, but it becomes hard to stop fighters who feel they are completely invincible.
The BBC made a video back in September where three Syrian fighters, and users of Captagon, describe the drug and the effects they experienced while under its influence.
One user said, “You can’t sleep or even close your eyes, forget about it and whatever you take to stop it, nothing can stop it.”
Another said “I felt like I own the world, high,” adding, “Like I have power nobody has. A really nice feeling” while the third said, “There was no fear anymore after I took Captagon.”
In a report on Live Science, it is explained that the drug is similar to past treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), but that by the 1980s the medication had been banned in most countries. In the U.S., Captagon was classified as a Schedule I drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act I back in 1981.
— Maclean’s Magazine (@MacleansMag) November 23, 2015
Live Science quoted Nicolas Rasmussen, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia, as explaining that Theophylline is similar to caffeine, but it also opens up a person’s airways, and is sometimes used to treat people with asthma.
“Amphetamine, on the other hand, is the main psychoactive ingredient in Captagon.”
Captagon is reportedly a problem not only for its usage by ISIS militants, however, as the illegal sale of the highly addictive drug also finances Syria’s black market economy each year, leading to militias having access to new arms, along with the ability to keep the conflict going.
According to Masood Karimipour of the U.N. office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), Syria has become a huge problem due to its collapsed security sector, with its porous borders and 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.”
According to the Washington Post, a drug control officer in Homs told Reuters a while back that he had observed the effects of Captagon first hand, on protesters and fighters held for questioning. He said they would beat them and they wouldn’t feel the pain and many would laugh while being dealt heavy blows. They reportedly found it necessary to leave the prisoners for around 48 hours until the effects of the Captagon had worn off before continuing the interrogation.