LGU, spiritual group, other agencies band together for persons with substance use problem recovery

Thirty-three (33) individuals last week received certificates of completion of a community-based drug recovery program coursed through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Liga ng mga barangay, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Uplife movement, Health Services Office, Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) and other agencies.

The completers who are persons with substance use disorders (PSUD) went through a two-phase Integrated Participatory Community Building Program (IPCBP) focused on the psychological, physical, mental, social and spiritual aspect; and later, an after-care program providing a relapse prevention program, with auxiliary services needed for integration into the community. The 18-month program is prescribed by Republic Act 9165, or the Dangerous Drugs Act.

With support from their families, the local government, other agencies, private entities and faith-based organizations, the group of thirty males and three female PSUDs are expected to become productive members of the community. The programs are facilitated by the different agencies and the spiritual group Uplife led by Rev. Rowena Orajay of the Jesus Reigns Ministries.       

In an overview delivered to the recovered PSUDs, Fangasan mentioned that when President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, one of his priority thrusts is to combat drug addiction. Thus, for that period, the BCPO reported that 635 PSUDs and pushers surrendered to the authorities. Partners in the government and non-government organizations later worked to help them recover from the drug use disorder.

Fangasan also recalled that in 2017, Serenity in the Steps group offered a treatment facility and community-based education, from the Colombo Plan drug advisory program. An initial step done is the profiling of first batch of surrenderees; for knowledge on their background, pressing needs, and basis for community interventions to be provided, Fangasan revealed.

Life skill-strengthening was also a focus of the program, teaching the recovered user to refuse and abstain from drug use, citing its harmful effects to himself, his family and the community.

It is worth noting, Fangasan said, that of the PSUDs on the record, 87 now have completed the modular-based program; with hopes for more completers.

Fangasan implored PSUDs who are willing to quit said habit to get in touch with any of her personnel at their office at Upper Session road as many partners, agencies, groups, and spiritual-based organizations are willing to assist in the endeavor.

The program which was done at the Baguio Convention Center was attended by city officials, and the program partners. – Julie G. Fianza with reports from the CSWDO, 16.Sept.2021