This coming November 15-21, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) celebrates Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week. This observance is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 124, dated November 26, 2001, which declared every third week of November as a time for national and local government agencies and community organizations to come together to promote public awareness against the ill effects of illegal drug use, as well as public cooperation in the government's anti-drug campaign.
This year’s theme is “Share facts on drugs – Save lives," with the subtheme "Celebrating drug-free Filipino communities: Thriving through the pandemic.” It emphasizes the need to improve our understanding of the world drug problem, and how better knowledge can in turn foster greater cooperation among relevant bodies to counter the problem’s impact on health, governance, and security. The theme also focuses on the importance of knowing the truth about the ill-effects of drug use and misuse among members of society.
As a member of the Dangerous Drugs Board, DOH is proud to collaborate on calls on the participation of partner agencies and local government units across the country to mobilize anti-drug advocates in this nationwide observance.
Through the years, the Philippine government has made strides in enacting several programs on drug awareness, prevention, treatment, and control, such as community-based drug rehabilitation; de-stigmatization of substance dependence; and management of persons who use drugs with co-occurring medical and/or psychiatric disorders, among others. These have been instituted with the collaborative support and strong commitment of different government and private sectors.
However, we shouldn’t stop here, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the challenges of dealing with drug-related problems. Public awareness of drug abuse and protective measures to stay physically and mentally healthy must still be viewed as a shared, societal responsibility.