322 ex-drug users from Sogod graduate to new lives

·2 min read

AROUND 322 former drug users living in Sogod town, northern Cebu graduated on July 13, 2022 after completing the one-year Community Support Aftercare and Reintegration (CSAR) program organized by the municipal government.

The 322 former drug users were recognized during a commencement activity organized by the municipal government at the multipurpose gym in Barangay Bawo, Sogod town.

Sogod Mayor Lissa Marie "Moonyen" Durano-Streegan, together with her husband and incumbent vice mayor Richard Streegan and municipal officials, were present during the graduation ceremonies.

Cleofe Maningo, head of Sogod's Social Welfare and Development Office, said the 322 former drug users are living within the town's 18 barangays.

The CSAR program has produced three batches of graduates which started in 2019 however, was put to halt last 2020 due to Covid-19, and resumed its operation last 2021.

The program is enforced based on Section 2 of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which states that "the State shall provide effective mechanisms or measures to re-integrate into society individuals who have fallen victims to drug abuse or dangerous drug dependence through sustainable programs of treatment and rehabilitation."

The program was initiated by the municipal government of Sogod in collaboration with the Dangerous Drug Board together with their implementing and enforcing arms; Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Philippine National Police, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Health, Department of Interior and other agencies in drug control, treatment and rehabilitation have immersed in programs that will aid the drug-recovering patients in successful reintegration back into their communities.

The program includes lectures, group sessions, individual therapies and counseling sessions (maybe pursued as necessary), family counseling, attendance to support groups, marital enhancement seminar, effective parenting, educational assistance, employment, assistance/skills training/livelihood assistance, faith-based development and, other services from the DSWD, DILG, DOH and other interventionists like religious groups.

Prior to undergoing the Community Support Aftercare and Reintegration program, the drug surrender will have to accomplish first the Community-based Rehabilitation Program which offers an extensive approach to rehabilitating drug users who have surrendered themselves through counseling and other therapeutic sessions.

To convene in their respective barangays, these drug-recovering patients will be provided modules and will meet once a week to note the activities in a month within 12 months.

After going through with the activities, the DSWD together with the barangay health workers, will then assess whether the turned-away drug user is qualified or has complied with all the necessary activities.

A certificate of completion will be granted afterward, appreciating the efforts of all drug-recovering patients.

After they completed the program, recovering drug addicts will receive livelihood recommendations provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) if they want seek work and free education for those who want to seek schooling. (JKV with PR)

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