BANGKOK – Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has issued a warning over the “virginity-loss” pills.
Such pills, which are now widely advertised on the Internet, are very likely to contain the tranquilizer called alprazolam, and they are sold overseas under the brand name Xanax.
The ONCB Secretary-General, Niyom Termsrisuk, said the number of reported crimes involving such drugs has been rising. He said these psychoactive drugs have sedative, hypnotic, anxiety-reducing, anti-convulsant, muscle-relaxant, and amnesic side effects.
Therefore, they are usually prescribed to patients suffering from alcohol dependence, seizures, anxiety disorders, panic, agitation, and insomnia. However, when they are abused, they can be very dangerous, especially to women.
The sellers of such drugs wilfully promote them as “virginity loss” pills and thus attract buyers who have bad intentions.
“Drugged victims are often sexually abused or robbed,” said Niyom, who pointed out that alprazolam was classed as a prescription drug and could not be sold over the counter at pharmacies.
Thai law, moreover, has prescribed harsh punishments for those who commit offences related to it.
An unlicensed importer, manufacturer or exporter of alprazolam faces a prison term of between five and 20 years and a fine of between Bt500,000 and Bt2 million, while an illegal seller faces a term of seven to 20 years and a fine of Bt700,000 to Bt2 million.
A person found to be in illegal possession of the drug is also liable to a jail term of between one and five years and/or a fine of Bt20,000 to Bt100,000; for an abuser, the maximum sentence is three years and/or a maximum fine of Bt60,000.
Nevertheless the drug has still apparently leaked into Thai society and led to criminal offences being committed.
By Supawadee Wangsri