Sotto warns of abuse of over-the-counter pain-reliever ‘Wari’

Camille Elemia

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Sotto warns of abuse of over-the-counter pain-reliever ‘Wari’
WariActiv pain-reliever spray contains ethyl chloride, the same component of shabu, says Senator Vicente Sotto III

MANILA, Philippines – After the recent drug-related deaths at a concert in Pasy City, Senator Vicente “Sotto” III warned authorities of an over-the-counter pain reliever easily abused by the youth.

In a privilege speech on Tuesday, May 31, Sotto revealed how WariActiv, commonly known as “Wari” to the young generation, is abused by the youth and partygoers to feel “high” or happy.

Its official Facebook page described WariActiv Spray as a “vapocoolant that acts as an immediate relief for muscle pain associated with sports injuries.”

The so-called “laughing gas,” Sotto said, contains ethyl chloride, the same component of shabu. This can also be bought on the Internet, for as low as P750 to P1,000.

“There is a newcomer in the list of killer substances when inhaled or misused. This is it, it is presently an over-the-counter commodity in drugstores, even sold in the Internet. It is promoted in the Internet for people who go to rave parties and want to be happy,” the senator said, while showing an actual bottle of the product.

Sotto, former chair of the Dangerous Drugs Board, maintained it was among the substances used by partygoers who died after attending the rave concert.

“Internet news reveal deaths in its misuse in other parts of the world. This could very well be one of the drugs accdording to intelligence reports used by some of the victims in the concert or were used on some of the victims,” he said.

Control purchase of Wari

With all this, Sotto called on key government officials combatting illegal drug use to control the purchase of the over-the-counter substance.

Sotto said he does not wish to be a hindrance to the happiness of the youth but is only concerned about their health.

“While we do not want to curtail their fun, we just want them to stay alive after the party’s over,” he said.

Sotto added the parties of his generation are way different from that of the present youth. The rave culture, he said, is the main perpetrator of illegal drug use among partygoers, as marijuana and other illegal drugs are “openly peddled” in parties.

“The parties of our generation are no longer the parties of this generation. Beatles and Elvis sounds are curiosity pieces for them. The kind of party across the globe for the youth is called a rave party. Their music is EDM for electronic dance music, they’re dancing nonstop. Their idols are the DJs who spin uncommon, repetitive sound. Sadly, the rave phenomenon is likewise an enabler and facilitator of the illegal drugs trade use and abuse,” Sotto said.

Playing on the title of the concert Closeup Forever Summer, where 5 youth died, Sotto said: “The summers of the youth are still ahead of them. And it is much too soon for them to experience their summers in the cemetery. And yes, Mr President, meron forever (there is such thing as forever), our vigilance watching over the youth that they may survive their youth.” –  

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a former multimedia reporter for Rappler. She covered media and disinformation, the Senate, the Office of the President, and politics.