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PIA Press Release
2007/11/15

Stakeholders tackle substance abuse prevention and control towards a drug-free workplace

Tacloban City (15 November) -- A symposium on substance abuse prevention and control towards a drug free workplace will be conducted at the SMED Center, Capitol Grounds, Tacloban City on November 19 after the Motorcade at 8:30 in the morning.

This was announced by DOH 8 Director Tiogenes Baluma who also heads the Center for Health Development of Eastern Visayas, during the Panindugan television program where he was guest on Wednesday.

The symposium will feature competent resource persons who will ably discuss important issues and relevant topics pertaining to a drug free workplace, Director Baluma informed.

He said that the Department has invited various stakeholders with in the Region representing the government agencies, local government units, academe and non-government organizations to attend the said symposium.

He added that the symposium is in line with the celebration of the month of November as the Drug Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month which aims to effectively generate massive public interest and support the move to curb the growing menace of drug abuse in order to pave the way for a drug free workplace.

Drug abuse is such an enormous and complicated problem, Director Baluma emphasized as he called for a combined and synergistic efforts of everyone rather than leaving the work to one or two agencies.

Drug abuse has a wide range of definitions related to taking a psychoactive drug or performance enhancing drug for a non-therapeutic or medical effect. Some of the most commonly abused drugs include alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methaqualone and opium alkaloids.

An estimated 4.7 % of the global population aged 15 - 64 or 185 million people consume illicit drugs annually. The profile of drug abusers in the Philippines includes mean age of 29 years. The ratio of male to female is 9:1 and those with total family earning of P13, 553.36 per month. The profile also showed that drug abusers are mostly the unemployed at 38% but there are also workers comprising of 29.53%.

Drug abuse in the workplace will greatly affect the productivity of the staff, Director Baluma said. This will mean losses not only in government or corporate funds, shortchange in services that must be rendered to the clients but also loss of competent people in the workplace, added to the fact that security and peace in the workplace are also lost. (PIA 8) [top]

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