Surge of drug users submitting to treatment and rehabilitation, a “happy problem” – DDBPublished on Friday, 01 July 2016
While there is a need to address concerns on the readiness of facilities to provide interventions to surrendering drug users, the Dangerous Drugs Board considers this a ‘happy problem’.
Submission of pushers and users alike to the police is a good incident for the DDB. “They are now the ones coming to us, willing to stop their illegal activities,” explained DDB Chairman, Secretary Felipe L. Rojas, Jr.
For those involved in illegal drug trade, the DDB maintains that they answer to the law. But for users, the DDB believes they must be provided with interventions in the form of treatment and rehabilitation.
“Drug use is a disease. We must give those who have fallen prey to drugs a chance to be treated and reintegrated into the society as productive individuals,” Sec. Rojas said.
Under Section 54 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, drug users can voluntarily submit to treatment and rehabilitation. The DDB, however, clarified that this can only be availed by individuals with no pending cases in court.
The user or parent or any relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity may apply a petition for voluntary submission to treatment and rehabilitation with the DDB or any DDB-authorized representatives. A police and court clearance must be submitted along with the application.
The DDB explained that not all drug users will have to undergo residential treatment and rehabilitation.
Upon filing of the petition, the user will be subjected to a Drug Dependency Examination (DDE) by a DOH-accredited physician. This is conducted to determine the appropriate intervention for the patient. If found to be a drug dependent, the patient is recommended for a residential treatment and rehabilitation. For experimenters or occasional drug users, counseling or an out-patient program is proposed.
With the sudden influx of users submitting to treatment, the DDB understands that there are concerns on the availability and readiness of facilities to accommodate these patients. The DDB will convene a special meeting of its Treatment and Rehabilitation Committee chaired by the Department of Health on the first week of July to address these concerns.
Similarly, the establishment of community-based treatment and care facilities will also be discussed. Last September, the DDB and DOH launched the manual on the establishment of community-based treatment and care services, supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The DDB calls on the help of local government units to support the establishment and operations of these facilities and non-government and faith-based organizations that can provide out-patient services.
“Participation of all local government units and also the help of organizations with the capacity to provide treatment and care services for people who use drugs is crucial in addressing what we now regard as a happy problem,” Sec. Rojas said.
“Drug users coming to us and voluntarily submitting themselves to treatment and rehabilitation is a welcome change. The government will continue to work hard to provide appropriate services and interventions to these patients,” he added.
At present, there are 45 residential treatment and rehabilitation facilities in the country, 18 of which are government and 27 are privately-owned. There are also one government and two private out-patient centers.
DDB spearheads national global day against drugs celebrationPublished on Monday, 27 June 2016
The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), the government’s lead agency on drug prevention and control, spearheads this year’s national celebration of the globally-held International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (IDADAIT) on June 26.
The local government of Naga City and the NGO, Center for Christian Recovery, co-hosted this year’s celebration highlighted by the 1st Recovery Summit and ‘Fambam’ Activity in Naga City participated by treatment and rehabilitation patients and recovering drug dependents from the Bicol Region.
Anchored on the UN-prescribed theme, “Listen First: Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe,” the DDB promotes the development of a strong bond in the family built through parents listening to the children and showing them care.
“This strong bond will protect our children from risky and harmful behaviors including drug use,” DDB Chairman Sec. Felipe L. Rojas, Jr., said.
Sec. Rojas also stressed the importance of a balanced and comprehensive approach to the drug problem. This means employing both supply and demand reduction programs. “Drug supply is the offense we have against drugs, and drug demand stands as our defense,” he said.
Through the IDADAIT celebration, the DDB hopes to encourage more individuals to become anti-drug advocates.
Every 26th of June, IDADAIT is being observed simultaneously in all member countries of the United Nations as per resolution signed during the UN General Assembly on December 07, 1987 and by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 264 dated June 1, 1988.
INTERPOL and UNODC forge closer ties in combating transnational crimePublished on Monday, 13 June 2016
VIENNA, Austria – An agreement between INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will further enhance cooperation between the two organizations in their joint efforts to combat transnational crime and terrorism.
Signed by INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock and UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov the agreement will see the implementation of a Joint Action Plan across six common areas; terrorism, illicit trafficking and organized crime, cybercrime, maritime and border security, forensic and criminal justice capacity, and institutional capacity.
The announcement, made during the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), will also see the two organizations develop joint initiatives and closer cooperation in the promotion and use of INTERPOL’s policing capabilities alongside UNODC technical assistance initiatives.
“INTERPOL and the UNODC have been working closely together for many years, and this agreement will provide a more strategic, forward-looking orientation for our partnership,” said Secretary General Stock.
“The increasingly complex nature of terrorism and organized crime requires a coherent and effective global response to better protect citizens and infrastructures around the world.
“This agreement will assist in avoiding the risk of overlooking any gaps or overlap in areas covered by our work to better support national crime prevention efforts,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief.
“The need for global partnerships to address shared challenges, from advancing sustainable development to countering the threats posed by transnational organized crime and terrorism, has never been more clear,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.
Recent examples of successful cooperation between INTERPOL and UNODC include the European Union-funded Operation Folosa in September 2015. Targeting drug trafficking from Latin America to Europe via Africa the operation resulted in the seizure of nearly 170 kilogrammes of drugs worth an estimated EUR 10 million, as well as gold coins and stolen credit cards.
In April, on behalf of the UNODC, INTERPOL’s Counterfeit and Security Documents Branch delivered a security document examination workshop in Ghana for the African region to help prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants.
Within the Network of the Law Enforcement Training Institutions (LE TrainNet) initiative, in June 2016 the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore will host a joint UNODC and INTERPOL meeting to address a range of topics including cybercrime and money laundering.
The agreement between the UNODC and INTERPOL – which will be submitted to the INTERPOL General Assembly in November for approval ̶ will also provide a framework for cooperation in the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the implementation of Goal 16 and its associated targets of promoting peaceful, fair and inclusive societies.
Concert organizers may be held liable for violation of RA 9165 - DDBPublished on Thursday, 09 June 2016
If proven by law enforcement investigators that illegal drug activities like selling and using indeed happened at the Close Up Forever Summer Concert where five participants died in Pasay City last month, organizers may be held liable for violation of Section 6 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 on the maintenance of den, dive or resort. The concert venue may be construed as a den where illegal drug activities take place.
In case where deaths occurred due to drug use, Sec. 6 also provides for a fine ranging from P1-M to P15-M and the death penalty which may be imposed on the maintainer, owner and operator of the activity.
This is what Sec. Felipe L. Rojas, Jr., along with other DDB officials who attended the House probe on the Pasay concert deaths on Monday told the meeting of the joint committees of Dangerous Drugs, Youth and Sports and Metro Manila Development.
DDB Deputy Executive Director for Operations, Asec. Benjamin P. Reyes also presented information on the incident compiled from various reports from the law enforcement.
Policy issues that the DDB will look into were also reported. Some of these are the reclassification of new dangerous drugs, supervision of local government units on events, and liabilities of event organizers and venue owner.
DDB Statement on the recent news of deaths due to alleged drug taking at a concert-party in PasayPublished on Tuesday, 24 May 2016
The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is saddened by recent news of lives lost due to alleged drug taking.
As the country’s lead agency on drug prevention and control, the DDB will conscientiously monitor the investigation of this case, make responsible parties answer for any lapses in security and violation of laws, and review existing policies and programs to prevent incidents such as this from happening.
We would also like to remind the public especially the youth to be vigilant and wary especially now that our law enforcement agencies have recorded a rise in the incidence of abuse of new psychoactive substances.
Like what we always say in our campaigns, what these drugs and substances offer is a false panacea. They offer nothing than a false and fleeting high with dangers that can sometimes lead to death.
As we strengthen law enforcement efforts and intelligence operations to arrest drug syndicates and perpetrators, we will also intensify our drug prevention and awareness programs to educate the people on the ill effects of drugs and capacitate and empower them to resist its lures.