Captagon: Syria's War Drug
Captagon, a highly addictive amphetamine, is the drug of choice for Syria's revolutionaries. We trace the drug trail, from its users on battlefields, along Lebanese smuggling routes, to the kingpins at the top of the chain.
"If the commander told me to attack a military barracks, I will do it with a brave heart and without any fear", a Syrian fighter describers the powerful and intoxicating effects of Captagon. Combatants on both sides are reportedly turning to the stimulant to help them keep fighting. Tracing the smuggling routes back to Lebanon and unique access to a factory where the drug is produced reveals the scale of the drug's popularity. Although they risk life sentences, workers at the Captagon factory are producing "half a million to a million pills per week", a large proportion destined for Syria's fighters. And at the very top of the chain, a wealthy kingpin explains how the "800 million dollar industry" is directly fuelling the Syrian conflict, as profits are funnelled back to militias on the front lines.