FOURTEEN drug surrenderers have graduated from a three-month Drug Users Technical Education, Rehabilitation and Treatment Enhancement (DUTERTE) program of the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC).

DUTERTE is a nine-module program which are as follows: why are we here?; how I knew things were going out of control; phases of the program; my trainees strength and weaknesses; my family’s strength and weaknesses; my feelings towards my love one; what is tough love?; my role in the treatment process; and lapse and relapse.

The graduates consisted of 11 males and three females most of whom are from the village of Tetuan. They completed the three-month program on Thursday, December 22.

Dr. Casto Germino Jr., head of the ZCMC psychiatry department, who conceptualized the DUTERTE program, said the three-month course also included detoxification of the patients, if needed.

Germino said the objective of the program is to provide community-oriented substance abuse assessment, treatment, rehabilitation, education and relapse prevention among drug users who surrendered to the government.

He said they will continue to monitor the graduates of the programs and will be given aftercare to include random drug test as drug dependency is a lifelong struggle and “there are still chances of relapse.”

He said the next DUTERTE program, which was pilot-tested in the village of Tetuan, will be held for drug surrenderers coming from villages Sta. Catalina and Sta. Maria.