With 31,000 drug users and pushers who surrendered to authorities during the past seven weeks, there is a strong clamor to rush up the establishment of a drug rehabilitation center in the province which will provide free services to drug dependents.
The multi-million Bohol Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (BDAT-RC)will be constructed in the island town of Pres. Garcia (formerly Pitogo) where a 2,667 square meter floor area will accommodate 200 patients at the start of its operations.
The project cost for the first major drug rehab center will be finalized this month after the engineering design will be completed.
The clamor for the immediate establishment of a drug rehabilitation center will be given a prelude with the opening next month of a drug counseling center where drug dependents can register as out patient clients and avail of the needed counseling.
Gov. Edgar Chatto toldÂ The ChronicleÂ yesterday that he issued two marching orders to an inter-agency committee, first, to fast track the planned rehab center in Pres. Garcia town and second, to expedite the opening of aÂ counseling center and a boot camp in the city which he wants to be operational by next month.
The counseling center for drug dependents will be at the Lions’ Club owned Oak Brook building, near the St. Joseph Cathedral.Â He will convene this week a meetingÂ with the Bohol Lions Council of Past Presidents headed by Lions 2nd Vice DistrictÂ Gov. Jerry Lim in order to utilize the Lions two-story edifice.
He designated former provincial board member, Dr. Yul Lopez, who is now executive assistant on health to oversee this drug rehabilitation work together with Asst Prov’l Health officer Greg Sodusta, Dr. Emem Uy and Prov’l Social Welfare & Development Officer Mita Tecson.
During an inter-agency meeting presided by Gov. Chatto last Wednesday, it was learned that of the thousands of drug surrenderees, the percentage of those needing an in-house rehab would be very minimal after a sampling survey conducted in Dauis showed such trending.
He explained that those least affected on drugs would undergo counseling at Oak Brook while those needing short term in-house rehab will be enrolled in a boot camp to be established at Camp Bernido in Dao district, this city. Tents and a gymnasium can accommodate those needing the short term rehab.
For his part, Bohol PNP Prov’l Director Felipe Nativdad said the high number of drug surrenderees in Bohol generated commendation from higher headquarters. He clarified that these 31,000 drug users and pushers who voluntarily yielded to authorities is a proof of an effective anti-drugs campaign even before the Duterte administration started its war against drugs.
He observed that drug users were rushing to police stations in the towns to surrender, being aware that the campaign on anti-drugs has been on even before the start of Operation “Tokhang.”
Gov. Chatto stressed he wants a government and private sector cooperation in this drug rehabilitation project even as he vowed the provincial government together with the Lions Club to jumpstart the counseling center at the Lions Oak Brook building.Â He also welcomed volunteer professional counselors who wish to fill in the much needed human resources in attending to the thousands of drug users and pushers whose desire is to start a new life
During an interview, the governor said theÂ inter-agency team was divided into two groups: Capacity-Building and Competency Committee and the Assessment and Psycho-social Committee. He designated Board Member
DSWD’s Tecson said the Boot Camp willÂ provide assessment of the surrenderees, especially those needing treatment using the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test Brief Intervention (ASSIST-BI).
It was learned that expenses for administrative activities and operations of the Team shall be charged to appropriate funds of the Provincial Government, while other expenses shall be charged to the respective appropriated funds of the municipalities where the respective surrenderees came from.
For her part, Dr. Uy clarified that the rehab center’s recommended therapeutic activities would include psychotherapy, counseling, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, community work projects, sheltered workshop, and social reintegration.
“The center shall be exclusively for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents and shall not provide services to patients with primary psychotic behavior,” she emphasized.
Once the rehab center in pres Garcia town will be operational by next year, treatment will be good for six months with the center submitting a semi-annual report to the Bureau of Health Facilities Services under the Department of Heath (DOH).