RIYADH, Jan 24: An official of the General Directorate for Combating Drugs (GDCD) warned students preparing for their examinations against consuming Captagon with the aim of sharpening their learning capacity and making them energetic.
Col. Saeed Al-Asaimi, director of the awareness campaigns at GDCD, said drug pushers hoard the speed pill to be released during the examination seasons when demand for the drug peaks.
“Scientific studies have confirmed that even the short-term use of the drug leads to damage of the brain cells and mental diseases. Don’t believe the drug pushers’ claim that it helps students during their examinations by improving their memory and concentration,” Al-Asaimi said in a statement reported in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper yesterday. The side effects of the drug include extreme depression, hallucinations, lethargy, sleep deprivation, and heart and blood vessel toxicity.
Al-Asaimi said his office planned to launch a Kingdomwide campaign in schools and universities to educate the student community on the harmful effects of Captagon, the use of which has been increasing. The use of the drug over the two-week examination period is enough to make a student an addict, the official warned. After this period, the student would find it hard to stop the habit.
The continued use would result in the destruction of some vital part in the nervous system, leading to incurable insanity and other chronic mental ailments, Al-Asaimi said in the statement.
Captagon produced in southern Europe has been smuggled via Turkey to the consumer markets on the Arabian Peninsula, according to a report. The official said the counterfeit Captagon was manufactured under unhygienic conditions and without quality check.
The illegal manufacturers add to the speed another drug, ephedrine, to make it more addictive, he said.