COMMUNITY-BASED DRUG TREATMENT

psyche-thumbIn the past weeks, we devoted two articles conceptualizing a community-based rehabilitation program in response to the bulk of drug surenderees who need support for recovery.

It appears that this is beginning to take off. Yesterday, Mon Arguelles and Francisco Oretapresented to Governor Edgar Chatto a community-based drug treatment and recovery program framework that is very similar to what I proposed.

These two guys currently run their own rehab center and served in the maximum security of the Bilibid prison as facilitators running a rehab program for hardened criminals and addicts.

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Now, the program they propose is based on their experience working in a rehab facility. But they are very aware that the dynamics will be very different because the absolute control present in the rehab center will be limited, if not absent, in a community based program. And if the Governor embraces this, the Province of Bohol will be the first to run a community-based rehab program for surenderees in the entire Philippines.

So, how will the program run? It will have 5 components namely: 1. Detox Program, Physical Conditioning and Discipline; 2. Spiritual Literacy and Wellness Program; 3. Mental Wellness Program and Reflective Skills Enhancement; 4. Relationship Literacy and Wellness Program and; 5. Community Integration Program Life Skills.

Considering the enormity of the work, this will require coordination from government and non-government agencies, as well as volunteers, to make it run and be sustainable. From the screening up to the community integration level, this will need professionals and volunteers together with the police, DSWD, LGUs, schools, and others working in synchronicity.

It will start with the screening and getting of the surenderees’ background. Now, not all will benefit from a community rehab program. There are those who really need to be sent to drug rehabilitation facilities for a more intensive and controlled treatment.

Now, the screening of surrenderees will need medical and allied professionals to do the screening and establishing the social case history of the individual. After which, those who qualify will now be asked to attend an orientation where they will be shown what they will go through, inspire and motivate them to go through the program for change.

Then the Detox program. This will involve physical conditioning and mind setting. Surenderees will be engaged in habit formation activities where they are expected to be punctual, accomplish tasks such as exercise and community service, and develop a sense of accountability by reporting daily for the program.

There will be constant monitoring and after a month or so, those who are evaluated to be ready for recovery will proceed to the next step. The surenderee will now get deeper into understanding his needs and longings as well as his need for a higher power in the Spiritual and Wellness Program. They need to realize that the problem exist because the Holy Spirit has been set aside in their lives.

After some time, with the enhanced absorptive capacity for healing and recovery of the individual, the surenderee will now grapple with his core belief system and its power. It will involve exercises for cognitive reframing and challenging irrational beliefs. This is the Mental Wellness Program.

After evaluation, the focus will now shift to caring and nurturing of significant relationships. The individual will make an inventory of all persons hurt and strained and making amends with them to make the relationship right.

This whole process will lead to Community Integration and teaching of life skills. As the individual pursues career plans and goals, together with his support group, he should continue to exercise vigilance, working and guarding sobriety each day.

This is a long term project, and as I have said, will require earnest volunteers who will serve and sacrifice for the healing of our brothers and sisters who have succumbed to drugs. With the leadership of the Governor and provincial officials, and the blessings of the Almighty, I believe this will prosper and will suppress the drug problem in our dear Bohol and the entire Philippines. (By Kit Balane)

P.S. For appointments, you can contact me at 09122506898 or email kitbalane@boholchild.com.



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