Youngest surrenderer started drugs at 8
(The Freeman) - August 16, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The youngest drug surrenderer in Cebu has started using shabu at the age of eight allegedly because of the influence of his elders.

The child, who is now 12 years old, was accompanied by his parents during the profiling and screening session of drug surrenderers conducted by the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office.

CPADAO is withholding the name and the address of the minor to protect his interest.

 CPADAO director Ivy Meca said some surrenders claimed to have also started using drugs at the age of 9, 10 and 12. Meca said that based on records there were already 28,000 surrenderers in the province as of August 13.

She said 70 percent or 19,600 of them are drug users and at least 3,000 were minors.

Meca said that the results of the profiling also show that most of those who surrendered belong to the poor family.

 "That's so frustrating because when we did the profiling and screening, majority gyod sa population kay masa," she said.

A crisis intervention program to assist the drug surrenderers was presented yesterday to Governor Hilario Davide III. The program presentation was attended by CPADAO together with the Provincial Health Office and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.

The official crisis intervention program was divided into two phases. The first part will cover the profiling and screening of surrenderers while the second part involves medical and psychosocial intervention.

Meca, however, admitted that only those who will voluntarily submit themselves to rehabilitation can be treated. She said most of those who surrendered did not want to be rehabilitated because of the financial requirement.

Some of them were also worried of their livelihood to support their family's needs. According to Meca, the main reason that prompted all of them to surrender is their fear of getting killed if they refused to.

CPADAO has proposed a community-based intervention program in barangay levels to address the problem of lack of rehabilitation centers. She said there are only to government rehabilitation centers in Cebu, one for the male located in Argao and the other is for the female in Mandaue City.

 "Naay gibuhat nga programa wherein ang Barangay Health Centers will be used as Barangay Behavioral Treatment Center. We will train volunteers, barangay and school guidance counselors and even barangay health workers to administer the treatment program," Meca said.

The program will consist of four basic treatments, which include Psycho Education, Life-Skills Training, Alternative Activities and Counseling.

Local government units will be paying for the honoraria of the barangay health workers and other volunteers. (FREEMAN)

 

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