In line with Quezon City’s thrust to wipe out the problem of illegal drugs, 3,502 graduates have started anew after completing Katatagan Kontra Droga sa Komunidad, a community-based drug rehabilitation program.
“Since the program was launched in 2016, we have seen how successfully these 3,502 graduates are able to turn their lives around especially since the program offers livelihood programs and employment assistance after graduation,” Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte said Thursday.
This came a day after she revealed a plan to put up a drug rehabilitation center for women and a voluntary recovery clinic in the city.
“We have been discussing with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, and by next year, we will have a partnership to establish a facility just for women,” Belmonte said.
As for Katatagan, the rehabilitation program involves the surrenderer, the barangay, the family, and even the church “to make sure that there is a whole community working together to help the graduate avoid a relapse,” she said.
As head of the Quezon City Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council, Belmonte said KKDK is only one part of an “eco-system” to comprehensively tackle drug use in the city.
“Before going into community rehabilitation, drug surrenderers are profiled using the Integrated Drug Abuse Profiling System so we can understand who they are, where they come from. Then, they are evaluated by physicians accredited by the Department of Health,” she said.
Some surrenderers are given immediate treatment and rehabilitation at Quezon City’s Tahanan drug rehabilitation facility while others are recommended for a community-based treatment program that includes psychological testing and care sessions, all at the expense of the local government.
“They are taught to understand the effect of drugs, to cope with cravings, avoid triggers, and adopt healthy lifestyles. Family members are also taught how to rebuild the relationships and move forward,” the vice mayor said.
She also cited studies from the city that showed women were more hesitant to go to drug rehabilitation facilities, since many of them could not leave their children behind.
“If we have such facility for the women, we could easily give the attention they needed most, and that they could take at least two of their children with them at the facility,” she said.
Belmonte also plans to build a voluntary recovery clinic for drug users who have surrendered to authorities
Such facilities would be a welcome addition to Quezon City’s Tahanan rehabilitation center in Barangay Payatas and would help address the influx of drug dependents who have surrendered, she said.
Tahanan is the country’s first treatment facility for drug dependents that is accredited by the Department of Health and is fully funded and managed by a local government unit.