With more than 20,000 self confessed drug users and pushers who turned themselves in to police authorities, the need to set up a drug rehabilitation facility is now the focus of the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGB).
Governor Edgar Chatto has initiated talks with Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial to secure funding from the national government considering the prohibitive cost of putting a drug rehab facility with purely provincial funds.
The island municipality of President Carlos P. Garcia, formerly Pitogo, 130 kilometers from Tagbilaran City is being eyed as an ideal location for a rehab center.
While not all those drug users need to be confined in a drug rehab facility, the establishment of a counseling center is now on the drawing boards, according to Chatto.
Drug dependents are shunning rehab centers due to the costs and fees for rehabilitation. There are 60 drug treatment centers in the Philippines with government operated rehab centers charging monthly fees ranging from P5,000.00 to P10,000.00, according to sources familiar with drug treatment centers.
But most government run rehab centers offer free rehabilitation programs, sources told the Chronicle.
Chatto ordered the Provincial Health Office to study the existing best practices in the cities of Davao and Cebu regarding their respective drug rehabilitation programs.
The need for competent psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and trained rehab staff are needed to ensure long term sustainability of the ambitious rehab plans of the provincial government.
With addiction, a never ending battle for the family, friends and the community, the quest for a suitable treatment facility is now among the top priorities of the present provincial administration. (Chito M. Visarra and Rey Tutas)