DDB urges local governments to establish own rehab centers

December 2, 2009 9:52 am 

CEBU CITY, Dec. 2 –- The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) has urged local government units (LGUs) to establish their own rehabilitation centers, as a way to combat the drug menace and minimize the number of drug dependents.

From January to September this year, the DDB reported 775 new admissions in rehabilitation centers nationwide. Of the number, 252 were out-patients and 162 were re-admissions.

This data is on top of an estimated 1.7 million drug dependents, based on a survey conducted by the Philippine Normal University last year.

Of this figure, however, only 1,189 were reportedly admitted to rehabilitation centers.

”If we could just rehabilitate half of those drug dependents and get them off the streets, it would remarkably affect the illegal drug trade,” said DDB vice chairman Clarence Paul Oaminal.

Oaminal called on parents and relatives of drug dependents to avail themselves of the services of the government-run rehabilitation centers, “instead of keeping the problem to themselves.”

”When someone gets hooked on illegal drugs, he badly needs medical or psychological intervention that can be addressed only through admission in rehabilitation centers,” he said.

Oaminal lauded local government officials that have established their own rehabilitation centers for drug dependents.

Among them, Oaminal mentioned the Luntiang Paraiso Rehablitation Center in New Corella, Davao del Norte and the Negros Oriental Rehabilitation Center in Dumaguete City.

”Yet, it has to be admitted that this is one aspect the government must consider a priority,” he said.

Oaminal cited Section 51 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which mandates LGUs “to appropriate a substantial portion of their annual budgets to assist in or enhance the enforcement of this act, giving priority to preventive or educational programs and the rehabilitation or treatment of drug dependents.”

The DDB has designed the Parole and Probation Administration as its representative in petitions for voluntary confinement in its regional, provincial and city offices.

Oaminal said the rehabilitation of drug dependents, aside form supply reduction, arrest of pushers and dismantling of shabu laboratories, is one of the vital keys to win the war against the illegal drugs trade. (PNA)

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