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PIA Press Release

DOH conducts advocacy campaign on drug prevention

By RG Cadavos

Maasin City, Southern Leyte (25 March) -- The Department of Health Regional Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center conducted an advocacy campaign to help drug dependents down to the grassroots level and to create awareness about the drug prevention programs of the government.

The Saving Lives at a Common Ground (SALAG), a government drug treatment and rehabilitation center under the supervision of the DOH based in Dulag, Leyte visited this city to discuss drug prevention programs and aims to guide drug dependent clients to have a "right living? through drug abstinence, change in lifestyle, adopting to pro-social attitudes and values, giving employment, and to eliminate anti-social behavior, were among the few.

DOH TRC Nurse Wayne Ortega, one of the resource speakers during the half-day activity overviewed drug abuse, its ill effects, and how to prevent it.

While Charlotte Taga, DOH TRC Social Worker discussed on the mode of treatment used in SALAG through therapeutic community. "Each one in the community where the drug client is living has a role to help these patients recover from their illness," Taga disclosed.

The treatment and rehab care will be 6 months to one year, Taga reported. There are rules to be followed that the "resident" (drug dependent) has to follow such as no physical violence inside the rehab, no drugs or alcoholic beverages, no smoking and no sexual activity, she added.

The drug dependents who will be admitted voluntarily to the rehab center, are required to submit a social case study from the concerned social worker, a written endorsement and commitment of support from the local government unit, a neuro-psychiatric evaluation report from a psychiatrist, a medical certificate from a government physician certifying that the drug dependent is free from infectious disease, and a court order to undergo treatment and rehabilitation for the period prescribed by the Therapeutic Community.

Sangguniang Bayan member Ricky Montalbo, the committee chairman on Health Services was grateful that the DOH included the communities in their drug prevention campaigns. "This is timely because Maasin City?s heinous crimes are drug-related and this will help create awareness down to the barangay level."

Montalbo, who was sent in behalf of Mayor Maloney Samaco said that the city government allocated funds for drug prevention program, adding that "barangay officials can now refer drug dependents for treatment and rehab care at the SALAG."

The advocacy campaign was attended by barangay captains, barangay tanods, the Philippine National Police, in-charge in anti-drug programs, Provincial Parole and Probation Office headed by Chief Probation and Parole Officer Juanillo Dublado Jr., and the City Social Welfare Office led by Febe Maria Sta. Cruz., City Social Welfare and Development Officer. (PIA-soleyte) [top]

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