Captagon was first manufactured in 1961 as an alternative to amphetamine and methamphetamine. At the time, these drugs were used to treat conditions like narcolepsy, fatigue, and a behavioral disorder referred to as minimal brain dysfunction. At the time, dextroamphetamine was being used by the military to enable soldiers to stay up for hours at a time, as well as to increase their courage. Although the Captagon drug was meant to be a milder version of these other amphetamines, it was declared an addictive substance with no medical purpose by the 1980s and was removed from the drug market. If you’ve never heard of this drug, then you aren’t the only one. Our Christian rehab is sharing what you should know about Captagon.
Captagon is a brand name for a drug called fenethylline hydrochloride. Fenethylline is a combination of amphetamine and theophylline. Captagon was first synthesized in 1961 from amphetamine by chemists at the German pharmaceutical company Degussa AG. The drug was eventually sold under the brand name Captagon until it was banned in 1986 because of its high potential for addiction. However, Captagon reemerged recently due to its widespread abuse in the Middle East. Not only is this drug commonly abused among young adults and teens, but it has also reportedly been used by the Islamic Forces (ISIS or ISIL) and other extremist groups to enhance their soldiers’ abilities.
However, Syria isn’t the only area where Captagon use is common. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Captagon use is most common in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, in addition to Syria. While this drug is used by militants to endure warfare and battle, it’s also a popular drug of abuse among wealthy young people in the Middle East. Students in this area often take Captagon pills to stay alert in class and increase their performance at school. Women also use it to lose weight.
Captagon belongs to the amphetamine drug class. It’s a synthetic drug that’s chemically related to neurotransmitters dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline). When someone takes Captagon, they may experience side effects similar to those of methamphetamine and cocaine. The person’s metabolism breaks the drug down into amphetamine and theophylline, producing an energetic and stimulating high. Captagon stimulates the central nervous system by increasing dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels, boosting both mood and certain physiological functions. Some common side effects of Captagon or fenethylline include:
As with other forms of stimulant abuse, long-term use of fenethylline include extreme depression, lethargy, insomnia, heart palpitations, cardiovascular issues, and more. Captagon is also highly addictive, making it a difficult drug to quit despite the damage it causes. Whether it’s Captagon or any other stimulant, we recommend that people addicted to stimulants receive inpatient drug treatment as soon as possible to decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease, organ failure, and overdose.
Because Captagon is derived from amphetamine, it’s safe to say that their withdrawal symptoms are similar. Drug withdrawal refers to the period in which a person’s body is reacting to a reduced dose or lack of drugs. Usually, drug withdrawal symptoms occur in people who have developed a physical dependence to a certain substance. In order to avoid withdrawals, people in this situation may take more of the drug. Eventually, this repetitive drug-taking behavior becomes an addiction.
Because stimulants cause a spike in mood and energy, the comedown from a Captagon high is usually marked by feelings of depression and fatigue. Some common Captagon withdrawal symptoms include:
Withdrawing from any kind of stimulant can be dangerous and possibly trigger a relapse. To avoid any complications, Faith in Recovery advises that anyone with stimulant addiction undergoes a medically monitored detox to reduce the risk of physical complications and relapse.
Although Captagon use is a serious concern in the Middle East, meth is a similar drug more commonly abused in the United States. If you know someone who’s battling substance abuse or is struggling with it yourself, don’t wait to get help. Call us today at 888-280-4763 to learn how our Christian drug rehabilitation programs can help.