Syria Becomes “Major Amphetamines Exporter and Consumer” Amid Civil War

According to recent reporting from Reuters, Syria
has become “a major amphetamines exporter and consumer” amid the
ongoing civil war there.


Drugs experts, traders and local activists say Syrian production
of the most popular of the stimulants, known by its former brand
name Captagon, accelerated in 2013, outpacing production in other
countries in the region such as Lebanon.

Reports of seizures and interviews with people connected to the
trade suggest it generates hundreds of millions of dollars in
annual revenues in Syria, potentially providing funding for
weapons, while the drug itself helps combatants dig in for long,
grueling battles.

Most other economic activity in Syria has ground to a halt in
the past two years due to the violence, shortages and international

Reuters goes on to explain that prior to the beginning of the
Syrian civil war Syria was a “transit point” for drugs being
trafficked from Europe, Turkey, and Lebanon into the Gulf,
Jordan, and Iraq, but has developed into the site of major
amphetamine production.

Although the conflict in Syria is prompting an increase in the
production of Captagon in Syria,
reported last October that a “revival” of Captagon
was seen in another part of the Middle East before the Syrian civil
war began:

Captagon has seen something of a revival over the past decade in
the Gulf, where a counterfeit version made of cheaper, easier to
procure and more potent amphetamines is by far and away the most
popular drug on the illegal market. Saudi authorities confiscated
nearly 70 million tablets last year, according to Abdulelah
al-Shareef, from the Drug Addiction, Prevention and Control
Department at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior. Officials
estimate that the seized tablets only represent about 10% of the
total amount of Captagon entering the country.

Read more from on Syria and drugs here and here.

from Hit & Run

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