Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mephentermine is used in maintaining blood pressure

By Bingo P. Dejaresco III

Shabu users have apparently found a substitute for shabu without the risk of apprehension and drug abuse charges--the latest challenge of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The PDEA-national office recently sent a memorandum to its regional offices warning of the abuse of mephentermine "which is a stimulant that has similar effects and characteristics with that of shabu", based on the account of the chemist from their Laboratory Service.

PDEA only learned of the abuse and the resulting addiction to mephentermine after a police operation in Metro Manila which resulted in the arrest of two suspected drug personalities.

The court dismissed the charges against them, since mephentermine is not classified among the prohibited, dangerous, illegal, or regulated drugs under Republic Act 9165.

What makes the job difficult for PDEA is its availability to anyone over-the-counter.

Mephentermine is used in maintaining blood pressure in cases of hypotension. But PDEA learned recently that some of the known shabu users had shifted to its use, although its effect is lesser than that of the amphetamine.

PDEA fears that its use might lead to dependence similar to amphetamine addiction.

With this, PDEA ranking officials plan to lobby before the Dangerous Drugs Board to include mephentermine in the list of regulated drugs.

Meanwhile, PDEA regional directors are getting the names of those who purchased the drug and will trace if anyone of them exceeded the recommended dosage.

Then PDEA will subject those who exceeded the recommended dosage to surveillance.

Meanwhile, Governor Edgar Chatto expressed disappointment in the absenteeism of PDEA-Bohol representatives in recent monthly meetings of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC).

He called on the regional director of PDEA-7 to make his Bohol staff explain to PPOC their consecutive absences in the monthly meetings at the height of the alarming illegal drugs problem in the province.

Lack of personnel could no longer be accepted as a reason since the PDEA regional director already announced the deployment of three additional personnel here.

For his part, Police Provincial Director Constantino Barot Jr. said the Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) is constantly coordinating with PDEA, as the lead agency in solving the illegal drugs problem.

Barot admitted that they are having a hard time, although the police have a high accomplishment record in the anti-illegal drugs campaign because personalities involved in illegal drugs are penetrating through less familiar entry points such as the islands.

On this, Barot called on PDEA to expand intensive operate to the islands, not only in the town of Carlos P. Garcia, but also in the island barangays in Buenavista and Inabanga where intelligence reports revealed that illegal drugs trade remains rampant.

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