Capitol, Army rehab helps 115 drug users

A TOTAL of 115 drug surrenderers from the first three batches so far have completed the week-long army wellness camp spearheaded by the Negros Occidental Provincial Government.

The latest were the 44 drug patients who finished the rehabilitation program on Saturday at Don Bosco Retreat House in Barangay Minoyan, Murcia.

The initial batch comprised of 38 drug surrenderers attended the wellness camp last August while the second batch in September 25 included 33 drug patients.

Provincial Planning and Development coordinator Ma. Lina Sanogal said Sunday the third batch was composed of moderate drug users aged 20 years old and below.

She added that they targeted the youth for the rehabilitation program this time since the previous sessions were participated by drug users aged 20 to 30 years old.

Sanogal said the youngest was a 12-year-old boy from Escalante City, who was both a user and a runner.

The module, which included leadership training, physical tasks, spiritual activities, counseling, lectures, skills and entrepreneurial training, is still the same as the one used in the previous sessions.

There was only a change of venue since the facility at Camp Major Gerona of the Philippine Army in Murcia town was not available when the third batch started the program on November 6.

Sanogal said the last batch this year is expected to start the wellness camp on the first week of December.

Expenses for the rehabilitation program have been sourced from the P5-million allocation of the Capitol’s anti-drug campaign.

Sanogal said the provincial government will again allocate a fund for the anti-drug campaign next year.

Second Lieutenant Ma. Revekka Roperos, public information officer of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the monitoring of drug surrenderers who completed the rehabilitation program is ongoing.

She added that they have not received reports that any of the drug patients have returned to their illegal drug activities after the rehabilitation program.

It is a “good sign,” she said.

Ropero also said that two of the drug surrenderers from Escalante City received scholarships from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
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