From the Ashes, Syria’s Drug Trade Rises

The manufacture and trade of captagon, an illicit amphetamine originally manufactured by a German pharmaceutical company during the 1980s for attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy, has exploded within Syria. 

  • Though banned, the drug is the country’s most valuable export, with global seizures in 2020 reaching a street value of ~$2.9 billion.

Context: Syria’s decade of war, broken economy, and increasing international economic sanctions have helped fuel the drug’s rise—and much of the industry run by relatives and business associates of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, making it difficult to eliminate.
The New York Times

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