The Middle East’s drug capital is emerging as Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East’s drug capital | This April, a person in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province set his family home on fire before iftar, the meal that breaks the Ramadan fast, causing a gory drug-induced homicide that gripped the nation’s media. The deaths of 4 members of his family.

Local newspapers reported that the police claimed he was under the influence of the drug shabu.

The Middle East’s drug capital

Recently, Saudi media has raised concerns about the surge in drug use, with one columnist pertaining to drug shipments into the country as “an open war against us, more hazardous than the other battle.”

Following the invention of roughly 47 million amphetamine pills concealed in a shipment of flour at a warehouse in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Wednesday, police there proclaimed the most important drug bust in their nation’s history.

According to experts, Saudi Arabia is increasingly playing the role of the Middle East’s drug capital, fueling demand and emerging because the main destination for traffickers from Syria and Lebanon, as evidenced by the record-breaking seizure.

They claim that the dominion is one of the biggest and wealthiest regional destinations for drugs, which situation is only getting worse.

The General Directorate of Narcotics Control claims that in terms of the quantity of drugs seized, Wednesday’s operation represented the most important single smuggling attempt.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has previously stated that “reports of amphetamine seizures from countries in the Middle East continue to refer predominantly to tablets bearing the Captagon logo,” despite the very fact that authorities failed to identify the drug they seized or the source.

Originally referred to as Captagon, this medication contained the synthetic stimulant fenethylline. consistent with the European Monitoring Centre for Medications and Drug Addiction, counterfeit drugs with the name “Captagon” are frequently found within the Middle East even though they are no longer produced officially.

Drug busts in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the area have increased over time. 320 kilogrammes of amphetamine tablets and over 3,000 kilogrammes of hashish worth many dollars were taken from a fishing boat in the Gulf of Oman by a US Coast Guard vessel earlier this week.

According to Vanda Felbab-Brown, a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, who has written on the topic , the substance first gained popularity within the kingdom about 15 years ago but has gained greater traction in the last five years, “possibly becoming on par with cannabis.”

One of the reasons captagon is becoming more widely used is that “there is a deluge of supplies presently coming mostly from Syria,” where it’s produced “on an industrial scale in the chemical plants inherited from the [Assad] regime” and supplied by warlords and regime associates.

CNN’s request for comment wasn’t answered by the Center for International Communication in Saudi Arabia.

According to data from the International Addiction Review journal, the road value of captagon, if it had been the same substance, might be up to $1.1 billion. The drug could also be purchased for between $10 and $25 per pill.

According to Caroline Rose, a senior analyst at the New Lines Institute in Washington, D.C., who has studied the captagon trade, “captagon’s amphetamine-type properties are sought out as a coping mechanism which will aid users facing food insecurity in staving hunger, and inducing a euphoric “rush” that users have said to assist with traumatic stress.

” it is also been reported that foreign workers in affluent Gulf nations like Saudi Arabia have sought out these similar characteristics in captagon, believing them to enhance work performance.

Amphetamines are preferred by Saudi youth despite the very fact that hashish and khat are other widely used substances in the country.

A user was quoted as remarking, “Captagon is small ,” during a 2021 study published in the journal of Crime, Law and Social Change. It appeals to me and my schoolmates quite hashish. Unlike hashish, which we may purchase in tablets. When [our] parents give us 25 riyals, we will buy one tablet and use it.

Amphetamines are preferred by Saudi youth over hashish and khat, which are both widely used narcotics within the country. “Captagon is small ,” a user was quoted as stating during a 2021 study published in the journal of Crime, Law and Social Change.

It appeals to my school friends and that i more than hashish. we will purchase tablets instead of marijuana. we will purchase one tablet and enjoy it once [our] parents give us 25 riyals.

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