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DOH to make drug rehab accessible

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Department of Health (DOH) has bared its plans to ensure that drug rehabilitation services are more accessible and a better fit for the country’s drug dependents who are in need of treatment.

Out of the 17 regions in the country, only the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) region and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao do not have a regional drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center (DATRC).

“No bigger effort has been mounted in the fight against drugs, with so many government and nongovernment agencies involved recognizing that drug addiction is a multifaceted problem that must be faced on many fronts,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

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Duque made the remarks during the summit on illegal drug control and prevention in Davao City last week.

The country has an estimated four million drug dependents, with around 2 percent in need of rehabilitation and support.

Earlier, Duque noted that large drug rehabilitation centers might be reconfigured as a complement to existing community-based drug rehabilitation facilities.

This was after former Dangerous Drugs Board Chair Dionisio Santiago admitted that the mega drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija was “a mistake” and “impractical.”

Santiago added that the funds used for the said facility could have been put to better use by funding smaller, community-based drug rehabilitation services.

Among the DOH’s plans are the development of DATRCs as one-stop shops offering treatment of substance use disorders as well as comorbidities and psychiatric conditions.

Soon, DATRC services will include treatment of substance use disorders such as alcohol and nicotine addiction.

“Regional hubs are envisioned to offer patients holistic rehabilitation from treatment to recovery, after-care and relapse prevention with maximum family involvement,” Duque said.

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