LOILO CITY - The supply of shabu is getting scarce in Western Visayas and drug users are resorting to the use of "regulated drugs" that are mixed with alcohol beverages, a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency official said yesterday.
Supt. Rolen Balquin, PDEA Western Visayas chief, said regulated drugs such as Valium, Diasepam, Ativan and Axionel, which are anti-stress medicines, are reportedly being sold without prescriptions.
Mixing regulated drugs with alcohol produces hallucinating effects, and, therefore, dangerous to the health of users, Balquin said. PDEA investigations show that taking Valium mixed with alcoholic drinks makes a user feel either sleepy or hyper active, which is dangerous to the health and could cause sudden changes in behavior.
PDEA agents have been mobilized to check drug stores reported to be selling regulated drugs over the counter, without prescriptions from doctors with S2 licenses, he said.
Violators will be charged for violation of section 5 of Republic Act 9165, known as the Comprehensive Drug Act of 2002, Balquin said. Two milligrams of Valium costs P50, compared to a small sachet of shabu, weighing 0.01 gram, that is worth P300, Balquin said.
Balquin also expressed alarm over the widespread proliferation of regulated drugs, especially Valium, the supply of which comes from abroad, and are being sold openly by foreigners.
With the scarcity of shabu in Western Visayas, the price of shabu per 5 grams has gone up from P15,000 to P25,000, Balquin said.
Balquin held a conference with PDEA provincial officers and staff in Region 6 to discuss new strategies in the fight against illegal drugs yesterday.
Yesterday, 24 PDEA agents in Western Visayas, including Balquin, were also subjected to drug tests, which are being conducted twice a year, as provide in RA 9165.
Balquin also said the selling by department stores of "muriatic acid", which is a chemical used in the manufacture of shabu, in excess of 10 liters, needs a permit from the government.*GPB