According to the ministry, the drug’s effect can last up to 60 hours. Prolonged use may result in loss of coordination, drowsiness, amnesia and even death.
A number of cases associated with the misuse of Phenazepam-based pills have been reported in the South. Nearly 2,500 tablets have recently been confiscated in Songkla Province. Phenazepam is categorized as type 2 controlled substance in Thailand and has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The ministry warned that the penalty for smuggling and distributing such illicit drugs is a jail sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to 300,000 baht.
Phenazepam is a benzodiazepine drug, which was developed in the Soviet Union in 1974. It is currently produced in Russia and a number of Eastern European countries. The drug is used to treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and insomnia. Recently, phenazepam has gained popularity as a recreational drug with misuse being reported in the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, and the United States.