LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The State Health Department says flashy packaging of the drug phenazepam could appeal to teenagers and first time drug users.
"The goal is to restrict drug for minors and for all people. There is no medically approved use of this drug," says Arkansas Health Director Dr. Paul Halverson is partnering with police and prosecutors to enforce the new ban against phenazepam.
Deputy Director Dr. Nathaniel Smith says its five times stronger than Valium.
"There is a potential somebody to put it in somebody's drink and use as a date rape drug," says Dr. Smith.
"The drug was developed in the Soviet Union and used in the treatment of neurological disorders like epilepsy," says Dr. Halverson.
There's no medical use for it in the United States. The concern is it's addictive, impairs a person's judgment, and combined with other drugs it could be deadly.
"Someone could take this drug and later drink or use other drugs or prescription drugs and end up with prolonged respiratory depression," says Dr. Smith.
For more information on this or other health-related matters, visit our website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov.
THV's Pam Baccam will have the full report on "Today's THV at 6:00" and todaysthv.com.