Alvarez: Drug prevention through education

EVEN with the obvious efforts of the government to educate young Filipinos of the effects of drug-abuse, still it is not included integrated in our academic curriculum.

For years, the DARE, a US source-based drug abuse prevention material, is the most utilized in informing the students regarding drug addiction prevention.

As such, the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac), spearheaded a writeshop funded by the Department of Health- Mental Health Program and Health Education Promotion Office to come up with a module which will be implemented on both formal and alternative programs (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepED) curriculum soon.

The Cadac technical working group, namely: Dr. Gene L. Gulanes- Addiction Medicine Specialist, Dr. Reagan Joseph Villanueva- MOIV Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Dr. Emily Joy Mangcopa Delgra, Psychology, Dr. Melba Manapol, PhD, Dean Social Works ADDU, Dr. Corazon M. Umblero, Ed.D, Concepcion M. Domag, RN, Mr Ronaldo A. Rivera for Recovery Support System, supported through providing reference materials to the DepEd writers.

The program consists of a module to handle persons with substance use disorders or dependent on psychoactive drugs. It included the basic understanding of schema therapy and the maladaptive coping responses, simplified cognitive reconstruction, physiology of drug dependence, pharmacology of psychoactive drugs, co-occurring mental disorders, and lastly, the significance of community-based recovery support systems on the drug reformists.

The Cadac Modules are created, fitting those from grades 4-12 with 35 competencies for the formal education. While the ALS have two learning strands with a total of ten competencies. Generally, it will help the students learn about the dangers of drug abuse and know the options during the onset of the substance use disorder. It will greatly assist them where to ask for help, like the TARA NA CBRAP or service delivery network that are provided by CADAC to extend services.

Furthermore, the Cadac Preventive Drug Abuse Modules will be entered in the DEPED portal and may be accessible to all educators from both private and public schools. A supplemental daily lesson plan will be readily available for easy use. Monitoring and evaluation will follow for necessary policy actions when the project is already realized very soon on April 2018.

I must say that this proposed program is an innovative manner of complimenting a solution to the war on drugs currently happening in the country. Information dissemination is one of the best ways of preventing drug abuse, not only to existing abusers but more importantly, to the youth, the vulnerable group of society.
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