The “outpatient drug rehabilitation” for surrendered drug pushers and users in Negros Occidental has been given more weight by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., rather than the establishment of drug rehabilitation centers.
Marañon, who was convinced by the outpatient drug rehabilitation proposal of Rep. Arnie Teves (Neg. Or., 3 rd District), yesterday stressed the need to implement the program as soon as possible.
“We have to do it now, or else, they (surrendered drug pushers and users) will return to their old habits”, he stressed.
Rep. Alfredo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) yesterday said that he will implement it in all local government units composing the 3rd district, initially through volunteerism and using his personal funds.
“As soon as we get the program going, and proven to be very effective, I am sure that not only the private, but even the national government will come in, and help out,” Benitez added.
The number of surrendered drug pushers and users in Negros Occidental reached almost 7,000, as of yesterday.
Under the outpatient rehab program, Teves, who admitted to be a reformed drug addict, said only P2,500 will be spent for each drug dependent within a maximum of 12 weeks of treatment, compared to P90,000 in the same period of treatment, in other rehabilitation centers.
Teves, who briefed yesterday members of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council of Negros Occidental of his proposed outpatient drug rehabilitation program, said public high school classrooms will be used for therapy sessions, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. which is usually the start for craving for prohibited drugs.
Marañon and Benitez shared the belief of Teves that reformed or former drug addicts are the best teachers, or counselors for surrendered drug dependents during therapy sessions,
“We have to learn from their experience”, the governor said.
Benitez, who promised to support the resolution of Teves when he files it during the opening of 17th Congress on July 25, described it as a “very inexpensive program”, stressing that it only needs more of trainors.
He also tasked former Board Member Patrick Lacson to lead the rehabilitation program for drug addicts in the 3rd district of Negros Occidental.
For the hardcore drug addict, Teves proposed that they should be placed in lock-up rehabilitation centers.
As to the source of funds for outpatient drug rehabilitation, Marañon said the provincial government will help local government units. But if the drug rehabilitation included in the PhilHealth coverage, then, we will have no problem, he added.
The PADAC which is chaired by Marañon, yesterday approved a P5 million supplemental budget, of which P4 million is for use to support the drug rehabilitation program, with the remaining P1 million earmarked for support to law enforcement campaign, as well as technical and administrative support.*GPB
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