miércoles, 23 de agosto de 2017

Captagón captado.../ TSRI Researchers Find A Way to Combat Pharmacoterrorism (cont.) / Prólogos


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Captagón captado.../ TSRI Researchers Find A Way to Combat Pharmacoterrorism

For at least a decade, the multimillion-dollar Captagon trade has been a fixture of the Middle East’s black markets.
It involves everyone from Bulgarian and Syrian gangs, to Hezbollah, to members of the Saudi royal family.

On Oct. 26, Lebanese police arrested Saudi prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle 40 suitcases full of Captagon (along with some cocaine) to Riyadh aboard a private jet.

The past several years have seen the global trade in illegal Captagon skyrocket, as authorities across the region have observed a major spike in police seizures of the drug. Local law enforcement, Interpol, and the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) all agree on the catalyst: the conflict in Syria. Captagon now links addicts in the Gulf to Syrian drug lords and to brigades fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who are funded by the profits, and, after years of fighting, are now hooked on the product. 

Captagon began as a pharmaceutical-grade amphetamine called Fenethylline. Patented by German pharmaceutical giant Degussa AG in the 1960s, doctors used it to treat a range of disorders, from narcolepsy to depression. But the drug fell out of favor in the 1970s, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deemed it too addictive to justify its use, with the World Health Organization following suit and recommending a worldwide ban in 1980s.This is where the free market history of Captagon ends and the hazier black market story — one told by drug lords, smugglers, and law enforcement — begins. 
What’s clear is that the counterfeit Captagon trade has flourished across the region over the past three years. A 2014 UNODC report noted that 56 percent of all amphetamine seizures in the world occurred in the Middle East; many of the seizures were of Captagon. In a single raid last year, police in Dubai seized 17 million tablets. At $10 a pill — a rough estimate, but one that is widely cited by law enforcement officials and drug treatment specialists alike — this amounts to a total street value trade of around $170 million. 

While the Gulf’s appetite for the pill is driving demand, much of the Captagon that finds its way there gets its start in Syria. Since 1999, the UNODC’s annual reports have cited Syria as a production and transit point for drugs from Europe, Turkey, and Lebanon. (...)

As for why Syria became a hub for manufacturing Captagon in the first place, it may have to do with the fact that, before the war, Syria had a vast pharmaceutical industry. With dozens of factories, Syria was the second-largest supplier of pharmaceuticals in the region. It’s not hard to imagine enterprising criminal gangs finding a way to divert some of the country’s supplies of drug precursor chemicals and pill pressing equipment. 

Syrian government officials refuse to comment on the thriving Captagon market. But Chamseddine, who confers regularly with various Syrian law and border enforcement agencies, says that, in the years before the war, they told him they were aware that Captagon production occurred around Homs. Lebanese security forces’ interrogations of a Syrian smuggling ring busted in 2013 also revealed a supply chain that stretched back to factories around Homs and near the Syrian city of Yabroud. 

Syria’s war has had a profound effect on its Captagon industry. In part, the war’s chaos has allowed drug producers to operate more freely. In a BBC Arabic documentary aired earlier this year, a Syrian opposition figure, businessman, and Captagon producer known as ‘Abu Sous’ said the manager of his underground factory near Homs saw the war as an opportunity to increase production. “I told him no problem, bring all of these things,” Abu Sous said. “And he did and our production increased. The truth is that we sold a lot.”


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So what is Captagon

In the end, Captagon could be considered to be a time-release pill containing Theophylline and Amphetamine. 
The effects subjectively would be very similar to taking Adderall XR and drinking tea or coffee. The effects are going to be milder than the same dose of Adderall, because half of the molecule being a Xanthine. There are some interesting effects on blood pressure, as Theophylline is a vasodilator while Amphetamine is a vasoconstrictor. 

What was Captagon originally intended for? 

Captagon was originally designed by Degussa AG, a German pharmaceutical company infamous for being the inventors of Zyklon B, used to gas people during the Holocaust.  
Captagon was invented in 1961 as an alternative to straight Amphetamine to treat ADHD, to work as an antidepressant, and to treat narcolepsy. 
It is of lower abuse potential than Amphetamine, and is actually quite comparable to Vyvanse in terms of effects. Essentially while not a nootropic, Captagon was designed to be a “smart drug” with a lower side effect and abuse potential than Adderall.


Why is Captagon currently the drug of choice for the Syrian Civil War? 

Captagon allows soldiers to fight longer hours without fatigue. It doesn’t give the same level of rush or euphoria or mania that straight amphetamine would, but it allows soldiers to function for extended periods of time on little sleep and without significant decreases in alertness or performance. Eventually these soldiers are going to burn out, but it allows them to keep fighting, and potentially even to stay alive.(Más)

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