Yala Provincial Public Health Office head Dr Songkran Maichoomon on Tuesday warned parents to closely watch their teenage children after reported abuse of new sedatives found in Betong district.
The pill brand Etizolam, which belongs to the Nimetazepam family of drugs and is used to treat stress and severe insomnia, requires a doctor’s prescription and has not been registered in Thailand, prompting speculation that the drugs had been ordered on the Internet or smuggled in from a neighbouring country, Songkran said.
“It will cause drowsiness and would reduce brain activity, while prolonged use could lead to addiction. This medicine is 10 times stronger than Alprazolam and abusing it could lead to serious consequences. An overdose could lead to death,” he said, urging parents to watch out for the orange-coloured pills and monitor teenage children for drowsiness or absentmindedness.
Citing a recent drug bust by Ai Yer Weng precinct officers in Betong that seized Etizolam, which was sent for a lab test to the Medical Science Centre, Songkran said the pills had also been found recently in Pattani and Narathiwat. Seventy-two pills have been found in the three provinces to date.