For decades an amphetamine-like drug has been gaining popularity across the Middle East. From Lebanon to Saudi Arabia, use of the drug Captagon has been spreading throughout all levels of society. Then came the civil war in Syria. The brutal and despotic regime of Bashar al-Assad saw an opportunity to finance its war machine – and used its military to take over the Captagon trade. This is how Syria became the world’s most industrialised narcostate, using illegal speed to finance crimes against humanity.