JOHN, 23, and Joy, 21, (not their real names) started using illegal drugs at a young age.
John, who hails from Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, began taking illegal drugs when he was 12 after being influenced by his friends.
“Kana man gud nga curious kay ta. Sa kadugayan, di na ta ma-kontento ug gamay hangtod nagka-dako. (I got curious. I started taking in small amounts of illegal drugs until I got hooked),” he said.
Joy, on the other hand, started using illegal drugs when she was 15 due to peer pressure.
But the couple’s life started to change when they were invited by their neighbor, Sister Lita Sumanting, to attend a 10-day drug rehabilitation program in Liloan, Cebu.
After 10 days, the couple is among the 81 drugs users and pushers who graduated from the Surrender to God (SuGod) Drug Recovery Program.
They are the fourth batch of drug personalities who availed of the program, which is a live-out seminar workshop intended for outpatient drug dependents.
Fr. Ramon Fred Ofredo, spiritual adviser for the program, welcomed the graduation of the 81 individuals yesterday.
“This is a good journey. You can see their healing day by day.They are now accepted and respected and are welcomed not as criminals nor as a bad element but simply as a human being,” he said.
John and Joy said they are planning to get married in December.
SuGod is a program of the Archdiocese of Cebu to answer the shortage of drug rehabilitation centers here and the high cost of residential treatment facilities.
Its participants underwent rehabilitation sessions that used scientific approaches similar to those applied by the professional drug rehab practitioners.
The program also applies evidence-based therapy and the 12 spiritual recovery methods of Narcotics Anonymous.
The rehabilitation program provided by SuGod is given for free to the participants.
SuGod’s rehabilitation program started last August. Miguel Ernest Ermac, USJ-R Intern