Captagon: The New War Drug


In every war that occurred in the last century there was some kind of stimulant consumed by fighters to give them a physical and mental superiority. During World War II, the Nazi soldiers were first given Pervitin pills (known as Speed today) to boost endurance during the invasions of Poland and France.

Post-war, the USA put hand on this Nazi invention but found its soldiers addicted to heroin during the Vietnam War. In the early 70’s a new more social drug appeared, cocaine, not long before it took a major role in conflicts around the world mainly in Africa, Lebanon and Latin America.

Syria: “Weapons for Pills”

Many conflicts erupted in the last decade from Afghanistan and Iraq, to Libya and Syria. Beside ecstasy pills, regular soldiers (US&coalition) were faced with a more “legal” kind of drug that was diluted in coffee but with same methamphetamine effects for powerful, enduring and fearless soldiers.

But in the Syrian scenario, Captagon, an old-new synthetic drug found high demand from rebels in their fight against Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. This drug was cheap, easy to produce and consume, could be used in a barter exchange and had a high market demand in countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Libya.

The rebels in Syria abused its consumption, whereas some declared committing atrocities under its influence while being completely delusional. They also found in it a lucrative business by selling it to dealers in exchange of weapons and ammunition. With its short distance and active ports, Lebanon became an easy gateway for smuggling these pills to the Arab Gulf countries.

Usually arms dealers provide fighters with similar stimulants for free with every purchase, a way to keep the conflict going and the weapons demand high. Nowadays, it became a war business opportunity, even a guarantee for the warlords to get rich before the conflict ends.

But what if the Lebanese government takes the initiative to export the hashish from its Bekaa valley to Syria; and in 30 minutes time, they could boost the economy of a country while ending a bloody war in another.

– Two birds one stone –

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