Syrian fighters using drugs to fight without rest

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A pill that allows users to experience seemingly boundless energy and euphoria is being used by fighters in Syria to greatly enhance their combat abilities, according to a Reuters report.

Marketed under the name Captagon, the illegal drug is used across the Middle East and has nascent markets in North Africa, with significant use in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait and the UAE, according to the report, which cited the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

According to the Washington Post, Captagon, which is based on the synthetic drug fenethylline, is consumed orally and stimulates the brain and central nervous system, giving the user a feeling of euphoria. After taking it, ISIS militants reportedly fight for days without fear, rest or remorse.

Due largely to the Syrian civil war, the country has become a major black market producer of Captagon, where pills can be bought for less than $20. Despite the battle prowess it reportedly provides, usage comes at a high cost, with side effects including brain damage and psychosis, the Washington Post reported, citing the BBC.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. MENA region and notable areas of Captagon use
2. Captagon pill
3. Effects on brain and nervous system
4. Militant consuming the pill
5. Militant fighting with no rest

VOICEOVER (in English):

“Marketed as Captagon, the illegal drug is used across the Middle East and North Africa, including in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and the UAE.”

“Also known by its chemical name, fenethylline, it is consumed orally, stimulating the brain and central nervous system, giving a feeling of euphoria.”

“Once ingested, ISIS militants reportedly fight for days without fear, rest or remorse.”

SOURCES: Washington Post, Reuters, PubChem
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/11/19/the-tiny-pill-fueling-syrias-war-and-turning-fighters-into-super-human-soldiers/
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/01/13/uk-syria-crisis-drugs-idUKBREA0B04K20140113
http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/fenethylline