It’s safe and secluded, tucked away down a narrow residential side street overflowing with lush greenery.
“A lot of the emphasis has been placed on apprehension and killing versus attention to treatment.”Equating drug addicts with criminals has created a climate of fear among users. Duterte’s iron-fisted approach has encouraged over a million alleged drug users and dealers to surrender.
The influx of patients has overwhelmed government rehab centers and challenged doctors to address their patients’ newfound fears.
Its priority isn’t preventing abuse, but acknowledging that “the person using drugs is first and foremost a person,” says Inez Feria, the founder.
Although harm reduction is not yet universally accepted in the Philippines, a bill recently filed in the Senate looks to mainstream the approach.
Until then, drug users will continue to seek refuge in rehab centers.
Doctors will continue treating a population consumed by fear and drug users will still be gunned down in the streets.
JANUARY 8, 2019 – A group of psychologists opposed on Monday the government’s current approach of criminalizing drug users in a bid to end the drug addiction problem in the country.
In a statement, the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) emphasized that such method has been proven ineffective as a solution.
One of those patients is Ramon, 43, whose name has been changed to protect his identity.
Ramon surrendered to the police in November after motorcycle-riding men killed one of his friends.