Community drive against illegal drugs

By: Editorial September 02,2016 - 11:09 PM


While the Duterte administration continues to draw flak from the United Nations and domestic critics over its bloody, all out war against illegal drugs and drug lords, it’s heartening to learn that there is the Church, the local governments and the private sector that are doing their best to help self-confessed drug users head towards the road to full recovery.

We read of stories like couple Margaret and Joe (their real names withheld to protect their privacy) who initially attended a session of SuGod (Surrender to God), a drug rehab program run by the Love of God Community and Kaalam Foundation Inc. in cooperation with the Ozamiz City-based group IT WORKS! Chemical Dependency Center, while they were high on shabu, only to pull through and commit to reforming themselves for the sake of their children.

Then, there are the initiatives set by the Cebu Archdiocese through Archbishop Jose Palma, who said he will order parishes to do their part in setting up drug rehab programs for recovering addicts.

There’s also the province receiving recognition from the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) for its campaign against illegal drugs, based perhaps on their record last year and not due to the recent surprise raid that yielded more than a million pesos worth of cash and drug proceeds at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).

That’s why the Cebu Archdiocese, in particular, and the Catholic Church, in general, can in some way question the Duterte administration over its intensified war on drugs without doubling down on efforts to provide rehabilitation for surrendering drug users.

Yes, we’ve heard President Rodrigo Duterte ordering the military to provide space in their camps for drug rehabilitation centers for an estimated 2.9 million drug users in the country.

But, so far, the volatile and vitriolic President had engaged mostly in a war of words over his staunchest critics, his latest attack being to question the very humanity of drug users by flatly stating that addicts or junkies should not be considered human.

President Duterte, perhaps citing from personal experience, said those addicts engaged in prolonged use of shabu, a chemical derivative also known as ice abroad are beyond rehabilitation owing to shabu’s shrinking of the human brain.

He credits this to the use of water in mixing shabu which was said to be used in engines of cars. But then that’s all the more reason for stakeholders to stop at the earliest the use of shabu by addicts so they would have a chance at full recovery.

In waging war against users and peddlers, President Duterte had likened them to vermin, pests that should be eradicated at the outset. But as the province and the Cebu Archdiocese have shown and will continue to show, there is a better way to eradicate the drug menace.

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TAGS: Cebu Archdiocese, Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, CPDRC, DILG, Duterte, Duterte Administration, Sugod, UN, United Nations

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