WHAT should truly disturb most of us under the prevailing condition in our country is the way we seem to be swamped with the menace of illegal drugs. Such a condition appears to control every nook and cranny of our lives so that everywhere we turn we are confronted with its presence and of the danger it poses.

Right now, there are a number of people who are enmeshed in the menace of the so-called white powder or shabu. What is happening is that, as a consequence, we are being victimized by the “drug epidemic.” There is the actual presence of the menace that cannot but hold the rest of us in captivity.

It is truly disheartening to note that the whole nation, if one comes down to it, is being held by the throat or has become captive to the clammy fingers of the illegal drug trade. In fact, almost everything that is happening in our midst has something to do with the use of illegal drugs.

Consider the controversial case involving the death of the street child Chastity Mirabiles, believed to be at the hands of the police. The head of the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) of the Cebu City Government averred that her parents opted not to send her to school and instead brought her to the streets to beg for money, which is a form of child abuse.

Her mother did not even send Chastity to a public school, which is free. Instead, she let the child beg.

The background check made on Noemi, Chastity’s mother, revealed that she (Noemi) allegedly uses illegal drugs. It thus implies that she used part or all of the money that Chastity earned from begging to buy illegal drugs for personal consumption.

Then there is the case of a family that was arrested for having been in the illegal drugs business for 14 years. The police conducted a buy-bust operation on the family in a barangay in Lapu-Lapu City. Arrested were the wife, Jasmin; the husband, Edgar; and the son, Rodel. They were all found to be jobless.

The police confiscated suspected shabu from the family. The haul had an estimated value of about P100,000. A police officer, Ronald Salimbot, reported that they had been monitoring the family since they are known in the barangay for their being in the illegal drugs trade.

After receiving the information about the family members’ involvement in illegal drugs, they were placed under surveillance for two weeks.

But the most painful case involving the “white powder” is the one about the slain broadcaster and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 spokesperson Jessie Tabanao. Perhaps, his case is a mixture of illegal drugs and of being a government worker.

In any case, what remains as a naked fact is that the spread and use of illegal drugs today is one of the real problems confronting our society.