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Authorities Move to Curb Rohypnol Abuse in Thailand



Authorities Move to Curb Rohypnol Abuse in Thailand

Authorities in Thailand have been ordered to take action against manufacturers and vendors who illegally produce or sell Rohypnol, to curb the abuse of the drug among teenagers.

A government spokesperson said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was concerned about illegal sales of Rohypnol on online platforms.

Public attention was drawn to Rohypnol abuse after a 25-year-old man shot 16 rounds at his friend’s Bangkok home on Aug 11. Upon being caught, the man admitted chewing Rohypnol.

The Government spokesperson said the PM had asked the Royal Thai Police to work with the ministries of Public Health and Digital Economy and Society to track the manufacturers of the drug and those selling it illegally online.

There is a wide range of illegal products available on online shopping, particularly among teenagers. In addition, the premier instructed state agencies to suppress criminal activities on online platforms.


Rohypnol is a controlled substance

Rohypnol is a controlled psychotropic substance under the Psychotropic Substances Act 2016. Doctors, dentists, and veterinarians must supervise the use of this drug. It cannot be purchased from a general pharmacy or online.

However, the buzz on social media about Rohypnol has spread from foreign countries to Thailand. The teens suck on the drug like a candy until they are intoxicated. The drug is also mixed with alcohol to boost its effect as a date-rape drug.

It was found that the drug was being sold on online platforms without permission from the Public Health Ministry. A maximum jail sentence of 20 years and/or a fine of up to 400,000 baht are possible penalties for the offence.

The potency of Rohypnol is about ten times greater than that of Valium. Usually, the drug is packaged in bubble wrap and comes in blue or olive-green pills.
Rohypnol date rape clubs

The “Date Rape” Drug

The pills are crushed and snorted, sprinkled on marijuana and smoked, dissolved in drinks, or injected. Rohypnol is commonly used as a “date rape” drug due to its ability to render victims incapable of resisting.

The effects of Rohypnol are often described as “paralyzing.” They usually start twenty to thirty minutes after taking the drug, peak after two hours, and may last for eight to twelve hours. It is possible for someone to become incapacitated (unable to act) to the point that they collapse.

While lying on the ground, their eyes are open, allowing them to observe the events around them, but they are not able to move at all. Afterwards, their memory is impaired and they cannot recall anything.

Muscle control is lost, confusion is experienced, drowsiness is experienced, and amnesia is experienced.

The drug Rohypnol is illegal in the United States, but it is sold in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Thailand as a sleeping pill.

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