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Recovery can start even without rehab centers

By: Nestor Ramirez October 18,2016 - 09:11 PM

The rehabilitation of 669,000 persons nationwide who surrendered following the heightened anti-drug drive by the Duterte administration could not wait for the construction of the much needed drug rehabilitation infrastructure that is still in the planning stage.

Not only that the construction of the infrastructure would take a long time to finish, most of our local governments don’t have the capability to establish one for their own constituents because of so many constraints like funds, location, expertise and many more.

By the time that the infrastructures are ready, maybe most of those who surrendered have gone back to their vices and worse, they may have been killed in anti-drug police operations or could be liquidated by motorcycle-riding vigilantes.

Although not all of the 669,000 who surrendered required to be placed under drug rehabilitation centers, there are more cases of recidivism reported when the patient is released back to the community because they could hardly reintegrate themselves to the society.

The construction of structures for rehabilitation centers could not address all the faces of the problem on drug addiction.

To name some: family, mental health, relationship to the community, attitude, poverty, business and corruption.

The number of people who surrendered could serve as a benchmark on how our country is afflicted by the drug problem and there is no community that can claim that they are free from the menace of drug addiction.

Since every community is affected, communities must therefore be understanding to every individual victimized by the drug problem. They should be vigilant and stand together to extend consideration and rediscover their capacity to care.

The cash for work program implemented by the city government of Lapu-Lapu is by far an embracing rehabilitation effort implemented by a local government that addresses the many faces of the drug problem while waiting for the construction of the infrastructure.

Although, the program would only provide a meager P75 for a six-hour work per day, it did not only provide income to the self confessed drug users but also restore their faith in the government and to themselves that they can be still be productive individual and a functional member of the community.

The self-confessed drug users and peddlers who joined the program are given tasks that would make them feel that they can still be productive in the society by engaging in coastal clean-up, gardening and beatification projects. Some were assigned in the material recovery facilities of the city.

The initiative, although dependent on the availability of funds already tackled most of the facets of drug problem because once a drug user could feel that the community is giving him importance, problems on family, mental health, relationship and attitude are partly dealt with already.

The cash for work program has no track record of solving the issue of rehabilitating drug dependents, but obviously it is not a doleout, it could unconsciously be the start of rehabilitation sans the walled infrastructure.

If someone works for his money, it restores dignity. The person who is dignified enough to face his problems is undergoing rehabilitation, not in an enclosed facility but in a community at large.

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TAGS: drug, drug addiction, drug addicts, Duterte, recovery, rehabilitation

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