The drug that turns ISIS into ‘unforgiving killing machines’

The drug that turns ISIS into ‘unforgiving killing machines’

ISIS fighters have been using a drug called Captagon, dubbed “chemical courage,” to stay alert in battle.

So what is the substance and what effect does it have on users? Here’s what you need to know…

What is Captagon?

Captagon is a psychostimulant which is made of a combination of amphetamine and theophylline.

It is just one brand name of a group of drugs known as Fenethylline.

The drug came into the mainstream in 1961 and was used for around 25 years as a milder alternative to amphetamines.

It was used to treat kids with ADHD and, less commonly, for narcolepsy and depression.

Unlike amphetamines, Captagon does not increase the patient’s blood pressure – meaning it could be used to treat those with cardiovascular conditions.

However, it is highly addictive – and became illegal in most countries in 1986.

What effect does Captagon have?

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Captagon pills and a cup of cocaine are shown at the office of Lebanon’s Anti-Narcotics Division in Beirut.AFP/Getty Images

Captagon keeps users awake for long periods of time.

It also makes users feel energetic and happy – which is why it has been dubbed “chemical courage.”

Lebanese psychiatrist Ramzi Haddad told the Guardian the drug produces “a kind of euphoria – you’re talkative, you don’t sleep, you don’t eat, you’re energetic.”

Is Captagon still available illegally?

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