Nubain Part 2Cebu Daily News
The first are officials of barangay Kamagayan in Cebu City where agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said the drug is commonly used.
Cebu City Councilor Michael Ralota showed Cebu Daily News a vial of Ashtec-10, which has reportedly has the same composition as the regulated painkiller Nubain. The sample came from Kamagayan barangay captain Celestino Avila.
“Bag-ong gamit sa mga adik-adik. Daghang baligya,“ said Ralota casually. (This is something new used by drug adicts. Many are selling).
Kamagayan already has a long history as a haven for drugs and flesh for sale, but the report also means that the surfacing of a new bad habit should be stopped in its tracks.
Before ampules of Ashtec-10 make a regular appearance in police blotters as confiscated items from arrested drug users, it’s time for sleuthing and firm law enforcement.
This calls to mind the way Nubain crept into the mainstream of drug use in Cebu City in the early 1990s.
The pain killer slipped out of the hospital route, where it was used as routine post-surgery relief for patients, and was rediscovered by drug dependents as a useful addition to a cocktail of narcotics.
Almost 20 years later and a lot of resistance from Boots Pharmaceuticals, Nalbuphine Hydrochloride is reclassified as a “dangerous drug”.
Today Ashtec-10 appears as another pharmaceutical item destined to make trouble.
Only this drug, labled as a product of Pakistan, isn’t registered with the Bureau of Food and Drugs in the Philippines. Neither is its company, Elice Pharma Ltd. showing up in any professional list of drug manufacturers.
What’s going on here?
How easy is it to smuggle a wannabe-habit-forming drug into Cebu? Does it appear in other key cities the way Nubain spread not too long ago?
The only reported arrest made involved a registered nurse caught with a batch of Ashtec-10 ampules in Talisay city a year ago.
At P250 per ampule, Ashtec-10 compares with the blackmarket cost of Nubain, which you can’t get legtimately unless you have an special S-2 prescription from restricted pharmacies.
Patterns of drug use don’t happen overnight.
They happen under the noses of community officials who don’t care enough to arrest a fad before it turns into another hardcore habit.