This study was conducted to determine the current nature and extent of drug abuse in the Philippines.
Results of the survey show a decrease in the number of the drug-using population; the most is 1.7 million; far below the 6.7 million estimated in 2004.
The steep decline may be attributed to the intensified operations of the PDEA, PNPAIDSOTF, NBI, Bureau of Customs, other law enforcement agencies in arresting drug traffickers, and dismantling clandestine laboratories and chemical warehouses and continued drug demand reduction programs led by the Dangerous Drugs Board.
The study was conducted to determine the level of awareness of SK Chairmen on the extent of the drug abuse problem in their localities and in Metro Manila. They were asked during a lecture forum on their perceived number of users and pushers, drugs commonly abused, and presence of clandestine laboratories, programs being implemented and government agencies implementing such programs in their barangay and cities/municipalities.
- Of the total number of SK Chairmen in Metro Manila (1,684), 738 or 44% attended the lecture forum and were included as respondents of the study. The mean age is 16 years old, ratio of male to female is 1:1. Most of them are in high school.
- Of the total number of SK respondents, 80% perceived that there is a drug problem in their respective barangays; 92% in their city/municipality; and 86% in other cities/municipalities in Metro Manila.
- In terms of the respondents’ level of awareness of the drug problem in their locality, the obtained mean score of 2.10 indicated a ‘fairly aware’ rating. Of the total SK respondents, 81% are ‘fairly aware’ of the prevailing drug abuse problem in their localities and in Metro Manila.
- The respondents rated the extent of the drug problem in their barangay as ‘moderately a problem’ and perceived it as ‘a serious problem’ both in their city/municipality and in Metro Manila.
- The findings reflected only the perception and not the actual drug abuse situation in the barangays, cities and municipalities of the 44% of the 1,684 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairmen of Metro Manila. To validate the findings of the study, conduct of a household survey in Metro Manila is recommended.
- Sangguniang Kabataan Chairmen, along with other elected SK officials, are among the government’s valuable partner in implementing drug abuse prevention program for the youth. Hence, it is strongly recommended that leadership trainings, seminars on drug abuse prevention be provided to equip them with the necessary skills to be effective role models and advocates for the youth in their respective barangays, cities and municipalities.