After fears over the street drug Flakka entering Indonesia, anti-drug authorities are shocked at the abuse of a drug known as PCC with almost 50 residents of Kendari, Central Sulawesi, suffering adverse reactions similar to that caused by Flakka.
The number of victims has reached over 100, with at least three deaths as reported by Kompas.com.
The pill is a mix of paracetamol, caffeine and carisoprodol and is used as a painkiller and medication for heart failure, Eradication Deputy at the National Narcotics Agency, Arman Depari, said.
Health experts says carisoprodol relaxes body muscles for a brief period and creating a chemical reaction which leads to a sedative effect.
While the pill had been officially registered in Indonesia, the Head of the National Drug and Food Control Agency pulled the license for carisoprodol distribution in 2013.
In order to obtain the pills, a patient requires a formal order from a doctor. However, the pills are believed to be readily available in Kendari.
“The pill was sold freely, and even sold to children with the price of Rp.20,000 (US$1.50) per 20 pills,” Depari said.
The ease of access has authorities concerned after 42 students were reported to have suffered seizures and hallucinations Wednesday, Sept. 13, as well as one death from another user.
“The incident happened in several schools in the area, not only from one school,” Depari notes.
Chief Spokesman from the National Police’s Public Representative Division Martinus Sitompul said nine suspects have been arrested.
Police also uncovered a stash of 5,227 pills ready to be sold.
Investigations are continuing.