Synthetic Drugs

The Supersoldier Drug That Isn't

Captagon captures the imaginations of yellow journalists.

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BBC

In the early 1990s, during the U.S. intervention in Somalia, press reports blamed the appalling violence in that country on qat, a stimulant shrub with a long history of social use there. As I explain in my latest Forbes column, reporters covering the civil war in Syria are making a similar mistake:

In the 1960s and '70s, doctors prescribed Captagon for narcolepsy, depression, and hyperactivity. First synthesized in 1961 by the German pharmaceutical company Degussa AG, Captagon was marketed as a milder version of the stimulants previously used for those conditions. But evidently its advantages over other drugs were less obvious than the manufacturer hoped, because by 1981 the U.S. government had placed Captagon in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, indicating that it has "no currently accepted medical use."

Today Captagon has been transformed from a mild-mannered medicine into "a tiny, highly addictive pill" that is "fueling Syria's war and turning fighters into superhuman soldiers." Or so claims The Washington Post, which says "Captagon quickly produces a euphoric intensity in users, allowing Syria's fighters to stay up for days, killing with a numb, reckless abandon." The Washington Times concurs, using suspiciously similar language: "The drug quickly produces a euphoric intensity in users, allowing fighters to stay up for days and attack with reckless abandon." The Post and the Times use the same quotations from a 2014 Reuters story and a recent BBC documentary to create the impression that Captagon enables members of various armed groups in Syria to fight without fear, kill without hesitation or remorse, and resist brutal interrogation, literally laughing at the pain.

All this is rather puzzling in light of Captagon's chemistry and its earlier reputation as a prescription drug. Such breathless accounts do not reflect Captagon's properties so much as reporters' perennial willingness to believe outlandish claims about unfamiliar drugs.

Read the whole thing.

NEXT: Friday Funnies: Frankenfish

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  1. WHERE DO I GET THIS?????

    1. You can get coffee just about anywhere.

      1. Mmm, Captoccino

      2. But the Tea-Adderall combo will let me molest without needing to take a break!

        1. You’re a modern JFK. You splatter all over her while the girl screams to get out of the vehicle.

    2. WHERE DO I GET THIS?????

      You can get harder shit from your friendly neighborhood child psychiatrist. Just get him or her to diagnose your kid with ADHD and you’re off to the races.

      1. Psychiatrist? Doctors were suddenly and inexplicably qualified to diagnose and prescribe for mental disorders quite some time ago.

  2. The “science” is settled.

    1. Every time I hear that, I think of the sedimentation tanks in sewage treatments plants, part of the separators which extract solids from the liquids.

      1. And just like politics, the big chunks float to the top

  3. ‘by 1981 the U.S. government had placed Captagon in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, indicating that it has “no currently accepted medical use.””

    Marshmallows have no currently accepted medical use but they don’t throw me in a cage for ingesting those…..yet.

    1. I thought they were on the list of potential items for acute treatment of hypoglycemia.

      1. Nice. Marshmallow cranberry dressing safe for now.

      2. There was a short story floating around about what happened when they outlawed chocolate.

    2. The day is coming. You eat too many and become a drain on Obamacare…

    3. Yet… According to federal jurisprudence recited with a straight face at the ayahoasca trial in New Mexico, marshmallows–and everything else–are addictive if “you keep using it when you know you shouldn’t”

  4. But Erskine’s formula was lost!

  5. Assault Weapons + Assault Drugs = Assault Freedom. Liberals go hide under your beds

    1. The woodchippers are coming! The woodchippers are coming!

  6. Syria Man can’t handle real meth on his killing sprees? Florida Man laughs at his worthless metabolism.

    1. He goes running for the shelter of Mohammads little helper.

      1. And yes if they can repost articles, I can repost my comments

        1. And I can *renarrow my gaze*

          1. We have never seen you un-narrow it, so as far as I can tell you’ve developed Youngbloods disease.

            1. But I don’t look anything like Rob Lowe or Patrick Swayze!

              1. A: Wrong youngblood, B: diseases don’t work that was, even fictitious comedy diseases (for the most part)

              2. Cynthia Gibb was hot in that movie.

            2. I saw her standing on the corner, yellow ribbon in her hair…

  7. “reporters’ perennial willingness to believe outlandish claims about unfamiliar drugs.”

    So just like every other drug? Of course they believe outlandish claims about most everything else. Guns, economics, etc

    1. using suspiciously similar language

      Journalists believe claims made by other journalists. Then many of them duplicate each other’s copy, adding an adjective or two, and pretend they are actually writing something original.

      1. That is, after all, what they teach at Columbia’s school of ‘Journalism’.

    2. Someone should make an infographic about journalists’ understanding of drugs, like the “pit bull” and “gun” ones.

      1. Nice. Maybe they can categorize everything between super soldier, face eating, and I can fly.

    3. Just one leak from Homeland Insecurity and it’s game on.

  8. Am I the only one not seeing mournng Lynx?

      1. Fist is here….close enough.

        Maybe they wore out all the orphas…, er, interns in the stuffing mines, yesterday.

    1. Ed gives us AM links on Thanksgiving no less. Probably one of these lazy millennials sleeping through it this morning.

  9. The Supersoldier Drug Links That Isn’t

    1. No, that happened a few months ago when the Jacket slipped off Nick’s unconscious, scotch soaked body, went rouge and posted an article with no content. The resulting thread was a thing of legend.

        1. Or is it *hangs head in anguish* now? It’s so hard to keep up with the lingo.

          1. You must go to the penalty box, for two minutes….and feel shame.

            1. So emulate a white progressive’s pre breakfast ritual, gotcha.

  10. Depressed, hyperactive narcolepsy sufferers must be a ball to hang out with.

    1. Hey, I’ve been diagnosed with all those things, more or less. ADHD-PI is such a bullshit concept.

    2. HEY EVERYBODY, LIFE IS POINTLESS AND I’M . . . . zzzzzzzzzzzz

  11. 27+ years in Uncle Sam’s Big Green Machine, and I never got anything better than coffee or a can of Red Bull. WHERE WERE ALL THE SUPER SOLDIER DRUGS WHEN I NEEDED THEM?!?!?!

    1. One of the side letters on SALT reduced our use of Super Soldier serums, turning research efforts instead towards FEV equivalents.

      1. Combat Pilots on Speed

        Nice band name.

        1. Speed On! Combat Pilots
          Speed Pilots

          Better band names

      2. THAT WAS THE ILANG, I WAS ILARNG!

          1. Toppest-Gun: Vollyball With a Vengeance

      3. That sounds like more of a fuckup on the part of whoever sent them to fly over a live fire exercise and didn’t tell the pilots about it.

      4. What complete bullshit. Those two fuckers should be in jail. The were told, repetitively, to hold their fire.

        Here is an excerpt from the letter of reprimand given to Schmidt:

        “You acted shamefully on 17 April 2002 over Tarnak Farms, Afghanistan, exhibiting arrogance and a lack of flight discipline. When your flight lead warned you to “make sure it’s not friendlies” and the Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft controller directed you to “stand by” and later to “hold fire,” you should have marked the location with your targeting pod. Thereafter, if you believed, as you stated, you and your leader were threatened, you should have taken a series of evasive actions and remained at a safe distance to await further instructions from AWACS. Instead, you closed on the target and blatantly disobeyed the direction to “hold fire.” Your failure to follow that order is inexcusable. I do not believe you acted in defense of Major Umbach or yourself. Your actions indicate that you used your self-defense declaration as a pretext to strike a target, which you rashly decided was an enemy firing position, and about which you had exhausted your patience in waiting for clearance from the Combined Air Operations Center to engage. You used the inherent right of self-defense as an excuse to wage your own war.”[12]

    2. WHERE WERE ALL THE SUPER SOLDIER DRUGS WHEN I NEEDED THEM?!?!?!

      They gave em to us.

  12. “Hence “the effects subjectively would be very similar to taking Adderall XR and drinking tea or coffee,” although “the effects are going to be milder than the same dose of Adderall,” since “half of the molecule” is the caffeine-like theophylline.”

    So what Sullum is saying is that kids on prescription Adderall who also drink coffee are literally supersoldiers?

    1. No, those would be the Super Predators that They keep warning us about (when they are trying to scare us about CRIME! or BLACK PEOPLE!).

        1. ugh. Wild-LING. You know nothing John Snow.

          *i stand by my claim ‘wilding’ was a term in popular use in NYC before the media latched onto it re: central park gang rapers. just because the term existed doesn’t mean there were mobs of kids regularly ‘roaming around fucking shit up’ every single night. but the term existed to describe that idea for years prior to the actual event.

    1. Capitalism doesn’t create victims.

      1. Indeed. The folks who sold Manhattan were *happy* with those beads!

        1. Of course they were – they were selling someone else’s land

          Minuit conducted the transaction with Seyseys, chief of the Canarsees, who were only too happy to accept valuable merchandise in exchange for an island that was actually mostly controlled by the Weckquaesgeeks.

          1. “Weckquaesgeeks”

            Isn’t that a board gaming club in southern Wisconsin?

          2. the Canarsees

            Duh – their turf is in Brooklyn.

            1. I thought that was the Warriors turf?

              1. Brooklyn’s a big place, yo.

        2. Only the left could take a shrewd business deal and turn it into something evil.

          1. I don’t know why leftists would be so hurt. They don’t believe in property rights, either.

      2. Victims of envy?

  13. “the effects are going to be milder than the same dose of Adderall,” since “half of the molecule” is the caffeine-like theophylline.”

    Now, *that* is good science.

    1. Well…

      if caffiene blocks the recpetors which would otherwise pick up the molicule from that direction, it could work as an inhibiting agent.

      But that’s just me guessing.

      1. “the effects of hydrogen are going to be milder than the same dose of water,” since “a third of the molecule” is the hydrogen-like hydrogen.”

        1. Neurochemical receptors in the brain function a bit differently from your oversimplication. I was basing my “I’ll give the benefit of the doubt” position on the fact that there are drugs which block uptake of various chemicals by binding to the receptor that would otherwise react to the compound being blocked and reduce the effect of the other psychoactive compound on the brain.

          Hense the italicised IF.

          Water, being the universal solvent upon which our bodies run, doesn’t have such receptors, (nor does hydrogen in the raw, either)

          1. Well, ….. OK.

          2. Sarcasm detector needs tuning badly.

      2. I know that caffiene is added to excedrine, because it acts as a carrier for the asprin and gets it into the blood-stream much faster.

        1. Do you know what mechanism that works by?

          1. No, the way I remember it being explained is that aspirin is similarly structured to caffiene, and that the caffiene molecule is very easily/quickly absorbed through the digestive tract.

        2. Caffeine is also a vaso-constrictor so that also adds to pain relief. Particularly in headaches.

          1. Yes. It makes headaches go away very quickly, especially migraines.

      3. The two components are synergistic, and the bio-availability curve seems likely to be closer to dexedrine than to Adderall (also, probably closer to IR than XR).

        Of course, since the drug is banned, some reports indicate that the primary ingredients are some other form of amphetamine and caffeine. (Street name should be “Folger’s Crystal”.)

        Dexedrine is known to cause impaired judgement in military aviators, which is why it was replaced by provigil as the approved “go pill”.

        1. Anyone who knows military aviators, knows that they have very little judgement to begin with, so dexedrine may be getting a bad rap here.

        2. It’s not the dexedrine that impairs judgement. It’s the lack of sleep.

          And dexedrine is 2 of the 4 active ingredients in adderall.

          1. Adderall only has 2 active ingredients.

            1. Oh, Tulpa. I’m not playing this game with you. My meaning is quite clear, and you want to quibble over the definition of a prodrug.

              I’ll just stick with what I’ve known for 20 years, and you can frantically scroll through wikipedia, desperately hoping to be technically right.

              1. “You’re technically correct – the best kind of correct!”

  14. I seem to remember a commercial for this when I was a young’un

  15. In my experience, the most powerful drug is love.

    1. In my experience, it’s fentanyl.

      1. I would much prefer a tender hug over your silly chemicals.

        1. The tender hug of Rohypnol?

          1. More like an enchanted embrace.

            1. Some enchanted drugging you may see a stranger
              You may see a stranger across a crowded park
              And somehow you know, you know even then
              That somewhere you’ll drug her again and again
              Some enchanted evening, someone may be crying
              You may hear her calling for help across a crowded park
              And night after night, as strange as it seems
              The sound of her sobbing will sing in your dreams

              Who can explain it, who can tell you why
              Fools give you reasons, wise men never try

              1. * Emile de Becque narrows le gaze*

      2. In my experience, it’s 14-methoxymetopon administered spinally. Because who can live with anything less than 1,000,000x the strength of morphine?

    2. Turn in your man card.

      *holds out a hand*

      1. I don’t think you would want what he will put in that hand…

        *shudders*

        1. *quickly withdraws hand*

  16. If this was true the U.S. would be pumping out super soldiers by the thousands. They’ve spent millions (billions?) trying to recreate the super soldier serum after the success of Captain America, to no avail.

    BTW, the teaser for Civil War looks good. I like the Russo’s anti-authority, mildly libertarian take on Cap.

    1. It is an interesting twist.

      The guy who started out all ‘America, FUCK YEAH!’ has learned that there’s a huge difference between American government and the American people while the brilliant self-made entrepreneur goes full crony to support the government contracts that float his massive business since that’s easier than competing in the free market.

  17. Jessica Jones is disappointing. I feel like I am watching a bad, teenage drama half of the time.

    1. The title sounds like a bad teenage drama (note, I know nothing about the item in question beyond what you’ve provided in that post, and I can’t be arsed to look it up)

    2. I gave up 8 episodes in it is way too tiresome and I as much as I like to look at some of the characters I hate all of them.

      1. That is as far as I made it, too. I agree with your assessment.

    3. I have only just started watching the series, and I’m just hoping for not-walking-dead nerfed.

      “Alias” (the comics) built up to an ending that is absolutely horrifying. Some of BMB’s best stuff.

    4. I finished the series late last night. It does feel excessively padded about three fourths of the way through, and it is too melodramatic at times, but it’s still really good.

      Not nearly as good as Daredevil, though.

  18. Any of you remember the Cold War fright about the Russkies developing an army, in Siberia, of half men – half gorillas? As soon as “Gen. McClellan” trained them, they were to descend on the U.S. and thrash us soundly because our G.I.s couldn’t stand up to their supernatural strength and viciousness.

    1. “…the obvious physical similarities between our two species were enough for Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov to propose that the two species could be cross-bred to create a hybrid creature through artificial insemination as early as 1910. In 1924, while working at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Ivanov petitioned the Soviet government for funding for planned experiments in human-ape hybridization at a primate station in Kindia, French Guinea.

      Ivanov supervised the capture of sexually mature chimpanzees and conducted his first experiment on February 28, 1927… When none of the chimpanzees conceived, Ivanov moved on to his next experiment: inseminating human women with non-human ape sperm. Ivanov sent more than a dozen apes to an ape nursery in the Soviet republic of Abkhazia, but only four survived the trip. By the time Ivanov had recruited women to volunteer for the experiment, the last ape ? an orangutan, which have 97% of DNA in common with humans ? had died and the experiments never took place.

      Had Ivanov’s experiments been successful, the Soviet Union planned to use the humanzees (human fathers, chimpanzee mothers), chumans (chimpanzee fathers, human mothers) and other hybrids to build an unstoppable army of super-strong, super-fast, super-vicious soldiers. “

      would have worked, too.. if not for you meddling kids.

      1. That…that … is fantastic. Thanks for that, you two.

        When I was just little PFC John in 1985, I don’t think I would have wanted to see a bunch of Soviet chumans or humanzees rushing my position.

        1. The more-frightening truth that the Soviet Union had kept secret for decades…

          …. is that the program was a “success”

          …only they had created an indolent army of creeching Chuman chronic-masturbators who flung poo at anyone who tried to interrupt them.

          The program was disbanded shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall… and the remaining Chumans blended into Russian society. Little was heard about them until a group appeared in the Eurovision finals in 2002, narrowly beaten out by a singing trio of Slovenian transvestites.

        2. Don’t worry. They can’t shoot very well.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhxqIITtTtU

      2. The women who volunteered for that experiment must have really loved Mother Russia.

        1. Technically, it was Father Koko

      3. Also, that 3% difference might not sound like a lot, but our DNA is structurally pretty different. Apes have a different number of chromosomes. That alone makes hybridization all but impossible.

      4. Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov

        “, The Third”

        /romannumerals

  19. “Today Captagon has been transformed from a mild-mannered medicine into “a tiny, highly addictive pill” that is “fueling Syria’s war and turning fighters into superhuman soldiers.”

    They’re probably just trying to find an explanation that doesn’t involve Islam.

    1. Or the anti-western jihadi strain of it.

    2. So much of what they write is intended to debunk popular perceptions.

      A whole lotta people are blaming Islam in the wake of the Paris attacks. I know states trying to ban the federal government from resettling Syrian refugees within their states seems so last week, but I think this kind of piece (in addition to whatever else it’s trying to do) is trying to debunk that and popular perceptions about Islam as the cause of the violence.

      Personally, I blame the authoritarianism in the region (more than Islam), but when non-libertarians hear you say that, they think you’re calling for neo-con pro-democracy war. So maybe if we blamed it on some new weird drug?

      Or global warming?

      1. Unfortunately both the authoritarianism and Islam are the products of the culture in the middle east. Islam certainly helps to perpetuate that culture and its resulting authoritarianism. It is pretty hard to separate the religion out from the culture that produced it.

        1. It is actually caused by midget baseball. Sub mitt.

        2. The Cold War had a lot to do with perpetuating the authoritarianism, too.

          Surely our historical support for dictatorships in places like Egypt (the birthplace of modern Sunni terrorism), Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Iraq weren’t completely unrelated to the persistence of authoritarianism in the Muslim world.

          The Russians’ activities in Syria, Iran, Chechnya, and Afghanistan surely had something to do with the persistence of authoritarianism in the Muslim world, too.

          I don’t think any religion is so unique in that it won’t reinterpret its beliefs in line with revolt against authoritarian oppression. Show me an oppressed people, and I’ll show you some people who are reinterpreting their religious beliefs in line with revolutionary struggle.

          Surely it isn’t merely a coincidence that various Muslim groups started interpreting their religious beliefs in increasingly violent ways as dictators started asserting themselves in the post-colonial period. That’s too much of a coincidence.

          And, anyway, the thought that authoritarianism breeds long term problems should be obvious to all my fellow libertarians. Syria is the long term consequences of authoritarianism.

  20. I think the media wants explanations for zealotry other than “they really believe this evil stuff and they’re willing to kill and die for what they believe.” Explanations which minimize human agency fit better with the worldview of some reporters.

    1. The idea of sober people doing the frightful things these militants are doing…that’s scary stuff right there. The drug hypothesis provides a more comforting explanation.

      1. I’m sure that’s part of it, but journalists have been quick to promulgate the concept of drugs having magical powers for decades. PCP, bath salts, the reefers, etc.

        1. I’d say that when you combine sensationalism with a comforting answer to the problem of devil (suppress the chemicals and you suppress the evil), it’s a tempting journalistic template for crime stories as well.

          1. Problem of *evil*

          2. Problem of *evil*

  21. a mild-mannered medicine

    You know who else was mild-mannered?

    1. Reverse Hitler?

    2. Bruce Banner?

    3. I was thinking of Clark Kent, but all good answers.

    4. Darren Wilson?

    5. Pajama Boy!

      Is it Pajama Boy?

    6. Clark Kent?

    7. Everyone who eventually snaps.

  22. What, no accusations of the journalists being pants-shitters? I thought that was the new thing..

    1. To be a proper pants-shitter, it would have to be some screaming headline like “NEW SUPER DRUG TO RAVAGE OUR SHORES!” – NY Post-style. Article would have some fainting soccer mom quotes, some alarmism from cops (“we won’t be able to stop these superhuman criminals…see this scar?”) and a hint of “what will happen when those people get their filthy mitts on this stuff”.

    2. Depends.

      1. Brief, yet fitting.

    3. Only if refugees or teh gays were taking them.

  23. OT – Gold medal awarded in the special olympics conclusion-jumping event:

    Leaps from: “President Obama told an interviewer last month that the death penalty in the United States is “deeply troubling”
    All the way over to: “Obama considers clemency for 62 federal Death Row prisoners”

    Maybe we can enter the guy in the boot-licking event too!
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/nat…..ate-result
    (Paywalled, but you have the money quotes)

    1. You might say the death penalty is problematic.

  24. Well that’s fucking depressing. Wikipedia has already been updated with this misinformation.

    You heard it here first: The Syrian Civil War is caused by meth and global warming.

  25. There may be hope.

    Why I Let My Kid Play With Knives

    That Stanford dean is right: Helicopter parenting ruins kids. By letting her do dangerous things, I’m helping my daughter stay safe.

    1. That piece contained a shocking amount of common sense.

        1. From what I can tell, the usual suspects want to burn this otherwise-competent Law prof on their heretic-pyre for daring to actually share her conservative-christian-opinion…. *outside* school contexts.

          *which i find funny; during the PC-craze of the 1990s, VU was a haven for religious-right students compared to its academic peers. The ‘minority activists’ on campus were more likely to be protesting the “secular-humanist agenda” and handing out flyers informing you of Christ’s undying love. They were maybe 10% of the school population. And they got along swimmingly with the Black Student Union & African-American Studies dept… who were also often Bible-Beaters themselves.

          as with any college, there were always some rabble-rousing activists around, but the general atmosphere @ VU was a sort of Southern Genteel Tolerance = tired, patronizing, mild amusement… the way you’d treat an indignant 7 year old. No one took them the slightest bit seriously.

          That said – there was an incident with an art professor – Don Evans, back in 1994. He showed a class some Mapplethorpe photos (*on request, outside class) and a female student complained to her daddy, who complained to the Admin. The Chancellor tried to quietly boot him. The student body protested that he remain. The chancellor buckled. Basically, they’ll do anything to make people shut up and keep things ‘quiet’.

  26. Violence and crime are often blamed on drugs when in fact the truth is really the other way around. In this case, it is true that the drugs help fuel their terrorism both financially (from the illicit trade) and psychologically – it is a powerful bonding experience. However, take a step back and realize that the simple fact is that these drugs are fun, and if they are illegal, then being a drug user makes you a criminal. And then it’s really just a step or two to joining ISIS, whose propaganda includes fun and drugs and fighting (pious righteous hypocrisy). It’s an appealing mix to mischievous and impressionable kids. So the solution here is to decriminalize amphetamines and end the drug war so they don’t need to join ISIS to get it. On the other hand, if you just step up enforcement, then the problem will only get worse, a dynamic many have explained in detail. Such as Johann Hari in Chasing the Scream.

  27. We learned it from you America. We learned it from you.

  28. How many sides does a captagon have?

  29. “Some Silicon Valley tech workers are taking LSD to be more productive, creative”
    […]
    “”Psychedelics give me a new sense of emotional freedom, and a new perspective,” an anonymous young tech worker told Inc. last month. “Over the subsequent days and weeks, I start to integrate it with more practical ideas and things come out of that.””
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art…..660115.php
    +1

  30. Eye-gouged and brain-flattened adherence to Ideology is the superest fucking drug of them all. Soldiers taught manuscripts slathered with special text kill with just as much exquisite efficiency as the imagination soldiers created by naive pulp punchers.

  31. yoteslaya, hope your TG in the stars was sweet.

  32. Third rail believers of god are not fucking fundamentalists or cheesy fucking lukewarm retards. Third rail believers are adventurers of the divine that fit into no church because churches and temples and cathedrals and mosques don’t work for third rail believers because all those buildings demand, contract, and place strategic anguish on the true lad or lassie searching the deepest part of their goddamn soul for the greatest light that illuminates their internal selves.

    I am secular. I fucking don’t like god. But, but, I do know of people who trek toward a mystical being who have no desire to jam a Christian pastor’s cock down my throat or a limp wristed bullshitting mental zombie religion upon my middle finger breaking it into bone splinter salad. Dudes who don’t give a fuck about my lack of concern about dying and not fucking 70 virgins or trick-or-treating on streets of shiny gold. Dudes who just mine for the divine on their own plot of existence.

    Peace out, divine miners. Peace out.

  33. Peppo was almost the same non-thing in September of 1923. Rumor had it the Germans had some sort of superstimulant drug at a time when cocaine had been synthesized and benzedrine produced in Germany decades earlier. Time Magazine reported, as if it were straight news, that Peppo was actualy sodium dihydrogen phosphate. This is an ordinary food additive prohibitionists would ban in a second as a channeler of Satanic Possession if it did anything at all. One chemical description calls it a deliquescent sequestrant, which doubtless summons up kidnapper of youth into reform school to the average journalistic vocabulary and imagination.

  34. Qat/Khat may be similar to Adderall; one wonders if the effects are more pronounced if one is severely malnourished, dehydrated, and hasn’t eaten all day. Okay, I don’t really wonder, I spent a bunch of time in overwatch during the early 90s in the Horn of Africa, watching some folks go about their business. The men would do a lot of jaw-jacking, some minor tea-drinking, some serious napping in the shade, and sometimes, dig up cached weapons to snap a few shots at passing UN hospital helicopters. I didn’t make a detailed study as to the effects on their behavior with or without the stuff in their bloodstream, didn’t have the time. They were goofier after a big ol’ chaw.

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