TN DC Write To Drug Controllers Of Other States To Prevent Painkiller Smuggling

CHENNAI:  After the recent arrest of 13 suspects for possession of painkiller tablets in Chennai last week, similar incidents have been reported in Namakkal and Erode earlier this month.

The State Drug Control authorities have written to the Drug Controllers of other States, from where these drugs are being procured, to watch on the bulk sales of painkillers.

As many as 7,000 painkiller tablets including Nitravet and Tapentadol, were seized by the police in Namakkal and Erode. The drug control authorities are taking action to control the smuggling of painkillers from other States.

The officials pointed out these incidents as concerning as the painkillers Tapentadol and Nitravet are used for intoxication and sedation. The tablets are being procured from other States and being ordered through courier.

Nitravet, a psychotropic drug, is used to treat sleeping disorders, but a prolonged use of the drug or usage in high doses can lead to addiction.

Tapentadol is a drug used for treating severe pain and pain due to nerve damage. Being a scheduled H1 opioid analgesic, the drug is recommended in case of a patient requiring opioid treatment. However, the Tapentadol tablets are being used as an alternative to sedative drugs.

“We have reports of incidents of Nitravet and Tapentadol tablets being injected in IV after being crushed as powders. It is used as a sedative and is being procured by various means, especially online,” said M N Sridhar, Joint Director of Drugs Control cum Controlling Authority.

He said that the state drug control authorities have written to the State Drug Controller of Maharashtra and Gujarat as the tablets in Namakkal and Erode were procured in those States and sent to Tamil Nadu through courier.

A senior official from the department said that the smuggling of tablets through courier and online platforms is being monitored. The drug Controllers have been urged to watch on the bulk sales of pain killer tablets.

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