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Admission to drug treatment and rehabilitation centers to resume with strict health and safety protocols amid the pandemic

Adjusting to the “New Normal,” the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) adopted infection prevention and control protocol to be followed upon the resumption of admissions and activities in drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities nationwide.

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DDB issues policy to ensure availability of physicians authorized to assess substance use disorder amid the pandemic

The Dangerous Drugs Board, in its recent special meeting, approved a Resolution extending the validity of provisional accreditation granted to physicians authorized to conduct Drug Dependency Examination (DDE) for a period of two years.

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DDB refutes heavy-handed approach in UN-OHCHR drug war report

The Philippine Government takes exception to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Report, especially as it relates to Philippine efforts to effectively address the pervasive menace and destructive effects of illegal drugs in the country.

The Philippines calls on the OHCHR to foster a positive spirit of cooperation with States Parties, with the view of releasing an unbiased report based on facts, legitimate figures and continuing consultations with key anti-drug agencies in the Philippines.

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Statement of the DDB on the change of leadership in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency

The Dangerous Drugs Board welcomes the assumption of new PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva after Malacañang released his appointment signed last 22 May 2020. Incoming DG Villanueva has been a steadfast partner of DDB even during his early years as career officer of PDEA. DDB has involved him in many of its anti-drug efforts particularly in policy formulation and strategy development aspects which helped craft many of its inter-agency priorities all these years. Recognizing him as the 7th Director-General of PDEA, DDB intends to engage more closely and deepen the collaboration with his leadership noting that he will become an Ex-Officio Member of the Board.

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DDB Eases the Use of Prescription Forms for Dangerous Drugs

The Dangerous Drugs Board now allows the use of ordinary prescription for medical preparations containing dangerous drugs.

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DDB advocates for the use of electronic prescription for dangerous drugs medication

The Dangerous Drugs Board appeals to doctors, pharmacists, and drug store personnel to consider the use of electronic prescription for medicines included in the list of dangerous drugs as the whole country is under a State of Calamity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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DDB, SDA Church hold program to update health directors on the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) and board regulations

The Dangerous Drugs Board, in collaboration with the Southern Asia-Pacific Division of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, convenes Luzon-based health directors of the religious group to update them on the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) and relevant DDB regulations.

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DDB clarifies: CBD is not cannabis per se

The Dangerous Drugs Board would like to clarify that marijuana use remains illegal in the country for both recreational and medical use. The use of Cannabidiol, however, is being considered to be allowed for treatment of certain rare forms of epilepsy like Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet Syndrome.

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DDB, DOST-FNRI launch dietary manuals for Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDs)

The Dangerous Drugs Board and the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute, officially launch three dietary manuals to be used in Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (TRCs) in the Philippines.

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PROFILE OF DRUG ABUSERS
(Facility based)
CY 2007

AGE : Mean age of 28 years
SEX : Ratio of male to female 9:1
CIVIL STATUS : Single 56.94%
OCCUPATION : Unemployed 32.82%
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT : High School level 30.62%
ECONOMIC STATUS:Average monthly family income P14,980.59
PLACE OF RESIDENCE : Urban (specifically NCR)
DURATION OF DRUG TAKING : More than six (6) years
NATURE OF DRUG – TAKING : Poly drug use**
DRUGS OF ABUSE : Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu)
                                 Cannabis (Marijuana)
                                 Inhalants (Contact Cement Adhesive)

*Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

**Poly drug users -  abuse of more than one (1) drug


DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

For 2007, more males were admitted in most centers nationwide, with male-female ratio 9:1. As to age, the youngest is 9 years old, the oldest 74, the average or mean age, 28 years old. Highest percent distributions of clients fall under the age bracket of 25 to 29 and 15 to 19 years old, with 19.03 percent and 18.02 percent admission, respectively.

More than half, 56.94 percent, of the center clients were married while 24.33 percent were single. It was also noted that there were 10.94 percent who have live-in partners while 6.55 percent were separated prior to their rehabilitation.

As regards to highest educational attainment prior to their confinement to the centers, 32.62 percent (1,310) of the patients have reached high school level and 27.63 percent (1,182), college level.

With regard to their status prior to rehabilitation, of the 4,278 clients 32.82 percent were unemployed, while 24.54 percent were workers, either skilled or unskilled.

The average monthly income is Php 14,980.59

 

NUMBER OF REPORTED CASES BY GENDER
(Facility - Based)
CY 2007

                                                   MALE             FEMALE       GRAND TOTAL
TYPE OF ADMISSION NO. % NO. % NO. %
NEW ADMISSIONS 2,555 59.72 284 6.64 2,839 66.36
READMISSIONS 571 13.35 46 1.08 617 14.42
OUT - PATIENT 741 17.32 81 1.89 822 19.21
T O T A L 3,867 90.39 411 9.61 4,278 100.00

* Total Reported Cases from Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

 

ADMISSIONS FROM VARIOUS RESIDENTIAL AND OUTPATIENT CENTERS NATIONWIDE

For 2007, a total of 4,278 cases were admitted in 55 residential and 3 out-patient centers nationwide. Of this, 3,456 clients were admitted in the treatment facilities while 822 were from outpatient centers. In a residential treatment facility, patients are required to stay for a minimum of six months to a maximum of one year, either on a voluntary or compulsory confinement basis. In an out-patient facility, dependents are diagnosed for their drug-taking behavior and required to report for treatment on a regular basis for a certain period of time.

As compared to 2006, a 9.04 percent decrease rate was observed in admission of clients. The decrease in admission may be brought about by the closure of some centers due to failure to comply with requirements or to apply for accreditation to the  DOH. Another reason for the decrease may be attributed to the relentless efforts on the demand and supply reduction campaign of the government

Of those (3,456) in the residential facilities, 2,839 or 82.14 percent were new admissions while 617 or 17.85 percent were relapsed or readmitted cases.

 

 

MOST COMMONLY USED/ ABUSED DRUGS
(Facility Based)
CY 2007

DRUGS USED / ABUSED NEW ADMISSIONS RE-ADMISSIONS OUT-PATIENT GRAND TOTAL % based on the total number of responses (5,673) % based on the total number of admissions (4,278)
1. Methamphetamine Hydrochloride(Shabu) 2,035 527 451 3,013 53.11 70.43
2. Cannabis (Marijuana) 1,162 259 435 1,856 32.72 43.38
3. Inhalants (Contact Cement Ex.: Rugby) 189 27 141 357 6.29 8.35
4. Benzodiazepines 116 37 1 154 2.71 3.60
5. Cough / Cold Preparations 51 20 1 72 1.27 1.68
6. MDMA (Ecstasy) 47 15 4 66 1.16 1.54
7. Nalbuphine Hydrochloride (Nubain) 27 18   45 0.79 1.05
8. Ketamine 16 10   26 0.46 0.61
9. Solvent 14     14 0.25 0.33
10. Psilocybin (Katsubong, Magic Mushroom) 8 4   12 0.21 0.28

* Total Reported Cases from Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

PROFILE OF DRUG ABUSERS
(Facility based)
CY 2008

AGE : Mean age of 28 years
SEX : Ratio of male to female 9:1
CIVIL STATUS : Single
OCCUPATION : Unemployed
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT : High School
ECONOMIC STATUS:Average monthly family income P15,064.72
PLACE OF RESIDENCE : Urban (specifically NCR)
DURATION OF DRUG TAKING : More than six (6) years
NATURE OF DRUG – TAKING : Poly drug use**
DRUGS OF ABUSE : Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu)
                                 Cannabis (Marijuana)
                                 Inhalants (Contact Cement Adhesive)

*Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

**Poly drug users -  abuse of more than one (1) drug

 

PROFILE OF DRUG DEPENDENTS

There were more male than female drug users with ratio of 9:1.  The youngest admitted case was aged 9 and the oldest, 70.  Majority were between 25 and 29 pegging the average age of drug dependents under rehabilitation at 28 years old.

Patients confessed of first experimenting on drugs at 15 to 19 years old, pointing to their peers as their primary source of illicit substance.  Regular pushers were relegated to secondary spot.

With regard to civil status, 57.23% were single; 25.16%, married; and 10.58%, with live-in partners.

As to occupational status, 33.92% were unemployed; 20.02%, workers; 9.78%, self-employed; and 9.27%, students.

Nearly 32% reached high school while 25.18%, college level.  Their average monthly family income was ₱15,064.72.

 

REPORTED CASES BY GENDER
(Facility - Based)
CY 2008

                                                   MALE             FEMALE       GRAND TOTAL
TYPE OF ADMISSION NO. % NO. % NO. %
NEW ADMISSIONS 1,951 55.33 246 6.98 2,197 62.31
READMISSIONS 526 14.92 38 1.08 564 16.00
OUT - PATIENT 689 19.54 76 2.16 765 21.70
T O T A L 3,166 89.79 360 10.21 3,526 100.00

* Total Reported Cases from Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

 

DRUG TREATMENT AND REHABILTATION ADMISSIONS

Drug abusers come from all walks of life, from different ages and from varied social backgrounds.  In 2008, a total of 3,526 clients were admitted from both the residential and out-patient facilities nationwide.  Of this, 62% or 2,197 were new admissions, 16% or 564 were relapse or readmitted cases, and 22% or 765 were referrals from the out-patient centers.

The National Capital Region (NCR) showed the highest percent distribution of cases with 1,964 or 55.70% of the total admission nationwide.  Region IV-A (CALABARZON) and Region III (Central Luzon) followed with 14.49% and 13.90% admission percentage respectively.

 

MOST COMMONLY USED/ABUSED DRUGS/SUBSTANCES
(Facility Based)
CY 2008

DRUGS USED / ABUSED NEW ADMISSIONS RE-ADMISSIONS OUT-PATIENT GRAND TOTAL % based on the total number of responses (4,751) % based on the total number of admissions (3,526)
1. Methamphetamine Hydrochloride(Shabu) 1,534 480 394 2,408 50.68 68.29
2. Cannabis (Marijuana) 1,020 244 436 1,700 35.78 48.21
3. Inhalants (Contact Cement Ex.: Rugby) 146 31 126 306 6.44 8.68
4. Benzodiazepines 92 21 6 119 2.50 3.37
5. Nalbuphine Hydrochloride (Nubain) 48 5   53 1.12 1.50
6. Cocaine 38 9 2 49 1.03 1.39
7. Cough / Cold Preparations 35 8   43 0.91 1.22
8. MDMA (Ecstasy) 27 9 1 37 0.78 1.05
9. Ketamine 10 1   11 0.23 0.31
10. Solvent 6 2 1 9 0.19 0.26

* Total Reported Cases from Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

 

Methamphetamine hydrochloride commonly known as “shabu” remained as the top drug of abuse with 2,408 cases (68.29%), followed by cannabis or marijuana with 1,700 (48.21%), and contact cement at 8.93% of the entire patient population.  The nature of drug taking was poly-drug use while the routes of administration were inhalation/sniffing and oral ingestion.

 

Admitted cases were down by 18% in 2008.  The decline may be attributed to:  1) financial constraints that confront families of drug users, 2) closure of some rehabilitation centers due to change in administration and some minor deficiencies that prevented them to operate, or sustain the operation, 3) stringent requirements for accreditation of centers by the Department of Health, 4) denial on the part of the family of drug dependents, and 5) relentless efforts of the government to eradicate the drug abuse problem.  This can be supported by the data on the increase of drugs seized and clandestine laboratories dismantled during the year.

 

PROFILE OF DRUG ABUSERS
(Facility based)
CY 2009

AGE : Mean age of 28 years
SEX : Ratio of male to female 10:1
CIVIL STATUS : Single 58.02%
OCCUPATION : Unemployed 35.97%
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT : High School Level 30.06%
ECONOMIC STATUS:Average monthly family income P16,290.80
PLACE OF RESIDENCE : Urban (specifically NCR 47.92%)
DURATION OF DRUG TAKING : More than six (6) years
NATURE OF DRUG – TAKING : Poly drug use**
DRUGS OF ABUSE : Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu)
                                 Cannabis (Marijuana)
                                 Inhalants (Contact Cement Adhesive)

*Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

**Poly drug users -  abuse drugs one after the other or in combination with other intoxicating substances.

 

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

There were more males than female clients with a ratio of 10:1, with a mean age of 28 years old.   The youngest center client was 10 years old while the eldest was 74 years old. The highest percent belong to age group of 15 to 19 years old with 569 or 19.22%.

More than half of the center clients were single (58.02%) followed by married (25.50%), 9.15% had live-in partners and 6.08% were separated prior to rehabilitation.

As to educational attainment, 890 or 30.06% have reached high school level while 794 or 26.82% were able to reach college level.

With regard to the status of employment, 35.97% were unemployed and 18.95% were either skilled or unskilled workers prior to their stay in the centers. Their average monthly family income is Php 16,290.80.


 

REPORTED CASES BY GENDER
(Facility - Based)
CY 2009

                                                   MALE             FEMALE       GRAND TOTAL
TYPE OF ADMISSION NO. % NO. % NO. %
NEW ADMISSIONS 1,799 60.76 214 7.23 2,013 67.98
READMISSIONS 458 15.47 30 1.01 488 16.48
OUT - PATIENT 425 14.35 35 1.18 460 15.54
T O T A L 2,682 90.58 279 9.42 2,961 100.00

* Total Reported Cases from Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

CY 2009 ANALYSIS

For the year 2009, a total of 2,961 cases were reported by the different rehabilitation facilities nationwide. Of this number, 67.98% or 2,013 were new admission, 16.48% or 488 were relapse cases and 15.54% or 460 were referrals from outpatient facilities.

A downward trend can be seen since 2006.  The decline maybe attributed to the following:  People cannot afford the cost of treatment; there is misconception on what goes on inside treatment and rehabilitation facilities, and the stereotype “denial syndrome” common among drug dependents, where they insist that they are in control of their drug-taking behavior and that there is no need for them to undergo any form of treatment. Another reason for the decline can be credited to the relentless efforts of the government to eradicate the drug problem as supported by the data on the increased operations conducted and the development and implementation of preventive education programs for different target groups.


 

MOST COMMONLY USED/ABUSED DRUGS/SUBSTANCES
(Facility Based)
CY 2009

DRUGS USED / ABUSED NEW ADMISSIONS RE-ADMISSIONS OUT-PATIENT GRAND TOTAL % based on the total number of responses (3,908) % based on the total number of admissions (2,961)
1. Methamphetamine Hydrochloride(Shabu) 1,284 394 214 1,892 48.41 63.90
2. Cannabis (Marijuana) 875 211 291 1,377 35.24 46.50
3. Inhalants (Contact Cement Ex.: Rugby) 195 25 60 280 7.16 9.46
4. Benzodiazepines 87 33 8 128 3.28 4.32
5. Nalbuphine Hydrochloride (Nubain) 43 4   47 1.20 1.59
6. MDMA (Ecstasy) 36 9 2 47 1.20 1.59
7. Cocaine 29 14 1 44 1.13 1.49
8. Cough / Cold Preparations 19 4 2 25 0.64 0.84
9. Ketamine 9 2   11 0.28 0.37
10. Solvent 4 6 1 11 0.28 0.37

* Total Reported Cases from Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

Methamphetamine Hydrochloride commonly known as “Shabu” is still the most drug of abuse with 1,892 cases, followed by Cannabis or Marijuana with 1,377 cases.  Abuse of Contact Cement like rugby with 280 cases was also noted.  The nature of drug taking remained to be poly-drug use.

The routes of administration are inhalation/sniffing and oral ingestion.

 

Rapid Assessment on Marijuana Cultivation Sites in Selected Regions in the Philippines

This project aims to provide information on the demographic profile of marijuana cultivators and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the government’s efforts to eradicate the cultivation of marijuana in the country.

Results of the study served as baseline information for coming up with programs/ projects in line with the government’s effort to provide alternative and legitimate livelihood to those who engage in marijuana farming/cultivation.