Bangkok – Authorities are warning citizens of a new sedative they have tracked spreading throughout the southern region, reporting that the drug “Etizolam” is 10 times more potent than average sleeping pills and can be deadly.
Director of the Department of Medical Sciences, Dr Sukum Kanjanapimai indicated that many citizens in the three border provinces have been using Etizolam without proper medical guidance. The pill is orange and circular in shape and often has a number 5 printed on it. It comes in blue aluminum packs of 10 and is purported to be from Japan. Tests however have shown that most Etizolam being sold and used is fake and contains Nimetazepam, a type 2 narcotic.
The drug is 10 times more potent than other commercial brands and is prescribed in other countries to treat cases of psychosis, depression and insomnia but comes with side effects such as muscle fatigue, slurred speech, inability to walk and drowsiness. Use over a one month period can result in damage to the respiratory system and lead to death.
Thailand has not registered Etizolam for public use and the Department of Medical Sciences has asked all relevant agencies to ensure that citizens do not use the drug.