The boys were SEDATED to reduce the risk of panic

Thai rescue teams arrange water pumping system at the entrance to a flooded cave complex where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped. AP

The young soccer players rescued from a partially flooded cave on Tuesday were given anti-anxiety pills to help them safely complete their journey, officials said.

A source told Khaosod English that the four boys were “medically sedated” for the dangerous journey out of the Tham Luang cave network — to reduce the chance that they would have an anxiety attack on their way out.

“Reviving them fully is why it takes time for them to emerge from the cave entrance,” the source said.

When asked about the drugs, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha insisted the boys were not given an anesthetic, just anti-anxiety medication, without specifying which kind, The Guardian reported.

“Who the hell would give that to a kid?” he said about an anesthetic, adding the boys were instead given, “something to make them not too nervous and panic.”

“I also take them when I am shooting,” he said, presumably to steady his nerves.

It is unclear if the four boys rescued Sunday and the four rescued Monday were also drugged.

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