Community-based rehab more effective vs drug problem: group

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 12 2019 10:13 AM

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MANILA - A community-based rehabilitation approach is more effective in addressing the country's drug problem, a drug rehabilitation alliance said Tuesday.

"There was a correlation we saw in the decline of number of killings and the rise of community drug rehabilitation. We felt that our approach worked on those areas," said Sikini Labastilla, spokesman of the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Alliance (COBRA).

Vice President Leni Robredo, as co-chair of government's anti-narcotics drive, has said she would focus on preventing unnecessary killings while treating drug use as a public health issue and not just a law enforcement problem.

Robredo earlier said she seeks to replicate the programs being conducted by COBRA, with whom she has worked with since September 2016.

Labastilla, who also heads the Caloocan City Anti-Drug Abuse Council, said 90 percent of drug users could be treated as an outpatient.

"The moment you take the breadwinner out of the family, the whole family suffers," he said.

"We felt that they can be treated outpatient and that is where we get a lot of support."

Labastilla said their community-based rehab program is designed for 4 months for moderate to heavy drug users, with meetings twice a week.

"We just really need to start by getting everyone involved, not just the police, health and social workers. Everyone, those who can provide jobs, education and everyone in the community leadership looking out," he said.

"This is just symptomatic of the bigger problem. The addiction problem is really a poverty problem."

There are currently 16 community drug rehab programs in Caloocan, with around 15,000 drug personalities, Labastilla said.