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A powerful amphetamine tablet based on the original synthetic drug known as "fenethylline," Captagon quickly produces a euphoric intensity in users, allowing Syria's fighters to stay up for days, killing with a numb, reckless abandon.
"You can't sleep or even close your eyes, forget about it," said a Lebanese user, one of three who appeared on camera without their names for a BBC Arabic documentary that aired in September. "And whatever you take to stop it, nothing can stop it."
"I felt like I own the world high," another user said. "Like I have power nobody has. A really nice feeling."
"There was no fear anymore after I took Captagon," a third man added.
Five Saudis, reportedly including a prince, were detained at Beirut's airport after two tonnes of pills branded as Captagon were found in cases due to be loaded onto a private jet.
It was the largest drug smuggling operation yet uncovered at the airport.
Captagon pills, which typically contain amphetamine and caffeine, are consumed widely in the Middle East.
The drug has helped fuel the conflict in Syria, generating millions of dollars in revenue for producers inside the country as well as being used by combatants to help them keep fighting.
Saudi prince detained at airport after authorities seize two tons of amphetamine pills from private plane
BEIRUT — A Lebanese official says Beirut airport authorities have foiled one of the country’s largest drug smuggling attempts, seizing two tons of amphetamine Captagon pills before they were loaded onto the private plane of a Saudi prince.
Doctors report that the drug has dangerous side effects, including psychosis and brain damage, according to the BBC.