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Is Captagon the Next Big Gay Party Drug? The Terrorists Are Counting on It

Is Captagon the Next Big Gay Party Drug? The Terrorists Are Counting on It
Photo by Mark Angelo Sampan via Pexels

Sounding the alarm on a drug favored by terrorists.

Captagon. You probably haven’t heard of it. Yet. Originally, up until the 1980s, it was a legal stimulant that was used to treat attention deficit disorder. It was made illegal in the U.S. more than 40 years ago because its harm was believed to outweigh its benefits. Now Captagon is known on the streets of the Middle East as a drug of war.

The tiny little pill is produced and trafficked by Syria’s Assad regime in partnership with Hezbollah of Lebanon. And while you may just be learning about Captagon’s hideous use, it just may take the place of G, K(etamine), meth, X. and cocaine as the next highly addictive party drug among the ever-growing number of drug-using Americans, especially LGBTQ+ people. In my neck of the woods, Provincetown, Mass., the drug scene among LGBTQ+ people since the start of COVID has expanded significantly. Never in my 17 years in P-town did I ever walk into parties like I have this past summer season, where some new party drug was almost always offered.

Captagon is a drug that I fear will soon be on the “menu.” This comes after USA Today and The Washington Posthave recently reported the drug has been found among Hamas fighters. The almost instantaneously addictive drug is suspected of being used by Hamas and other Middle Eastern military fighters and is suspected of funding much of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group. “For years, Captagon has been a staple among Islamic State fighters, especially in Iraq and Syria, because it gives them almost superhuman powers — including the ability to stay awake, calm, and focused for days on end without food,” USA Today reported, citing Carmit Valensi, a narcoterrorism expert and former senior adviser in Israel’s intelligence corps.

I worry that the properties and effects of Captagon will be of immediate attraction to the LGBTQ+ market in America; think superhuman powers, ability to stay awake and focused for days, no appetite or desire for food, an ability to overcome any fear, stay calm, and be aggressive, especially sexually.

Syria has been manufacturing the drug to fund President Bashar Assad’s war efforts, according to reports. Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, and others have used Captagon to turn their fighters into superhuman warriors, but now the manufacturers — largely terrorists — may see the opportunity to take advantage of the Western consumer market, starting in Europe and then expanding quickly to America. Just as Afghanistan once provided Europe with 95 percent of its heroin supply, the producers of Captagon may soon find willing international buyers with their drug.

So it’s likely Americans, especially gay men, will soon be presented with the opportunity to take Captagon or whatever brand name it’s delivered uncer. I urge all of those who consider experimenting to keep in mind the addictive nature and terrible sourcing and funding of this drug. Meth, opioids, and fentanyl have destabilized America with millions suffering psychosis, homelessness, and overdoses; let’s not add Captagon to this horrifying mix.

Michael D. Kelley is a cofounder and a principal LGBTQ+ shareholder of equalpride, publisher of The Advocate. His opinion pieces represent his own viewpoints and not necessarily those of equalpride or its affiliates, partners, or management.

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Michael D. Kelley