Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: Reports suggest that the Islamic State (IS) and Syrian fighters widely consumed Captagon to increase alertness and suppress appetite during their gruelling battles.
- Captagon is a highly addictive amphetamine-type drug, which is produced mainly in Syria and widely smuggled across West Asia. Several reports over the years have claimed that sales of the drug, estimated to be worth several billion dollars a year, have profited al-Assad, his associates and his family.
- Captagon is a counterfeit version of medicine with the same brand name that was originally produced in the 1960s to treat attention deficit disorders, narcolepsy, and other conditions.
- The original Captagon contained fenetylline, a synthetic drug belonging to the phenethylamine family, including amphetamine. It was banned in the 1980s due to concerns about its addictive nature.
- Amphetamine-based drugs like Captagon stimulate the central nervous system, providing a boost of energy, increased focus, and a feeling of euphoria. However, they do not confer superhuman abilities. Side effects of these drugs can include loss of appetite, heart problems, high body temperature, memory loss, and addiction.