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Summer Rave Party aftermath: Sotto wants PDEA, DDB to probe use of ‘laughing gas’ among youth

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Sen. Vicente Sotto III scored on Tuesday the illicit illegal drug trade during a rave party at the SM Mall of Asia last May 21, 2016, which left five people dead from alleged drug overdose.

The former chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) identified the abused substances ingested by the victims such as Methylenedioxymetahmphetamine or MDMA, also known as ecstasy, or E or X.

He also warned that a drug used by gym buffs, bikers and sports as a possible culprit that led to the deaths of the victims of the party billed as “Close-up forever summer”. “I have now come into a conclusion that there is a newcomer in the list of suspected killer substances inhaled or misused, a well-known muscle pain killer that goes by the brand name WARIACTIV,” Sotto said.

The senator noted that the drug is an over-the-counter commodity in our drug stores for P 750 to P 1,500 each. WARIACTIV is also known as “laughing gas”, which has been used in rave parties, and caused deaths abroad.

Sotto also called on the DDB, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Agency to determine the need for protocol for the purchase of WARIACTIV.

“Sadly, the rave phenomenon is likewise an enabler and facilitator of the illegal drugs trade, use and abuse,” Sotto said in a privilege speech.

“Marijuana and mind-altering substances are openly peddled and presumed. It’s a different ballgame, Mr. President. We do not mean to curtail their fund, we just want them to stay alive after the party’s over.”

Sotto said if the authorities won’t act immediately, the country might face a drug problem with catastrophic proportions. “Even if we remove all the pushers, we will be defeated if we do not embark on serious nationwide rehabilitation program and a massive prevention program nationwide,” the senator said.