1,189 barangays in Central Visayas have drugs

ILLEGAL drugs is reportedly present in 1,189 out of 2,446 villages in Central Visayas in the first quarter this year, according to statistics provided by the police.

Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas said 49 percent of the region is “drug affected,” while 1,257 villages or 51 percent is free from illegal substances.

“There are identified drug users or drug pushers in these barangays,” said Lawas, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 deputy director for operations.

The regional police office’s records showed that all of the 80 barangays in Cebu City and 27 in Mandaue City are affected with illegal drugs.

Three barangays of Lapu-Lapu City are drug-free, while 27 other villages are home to junkies and drug pushers.

In Cebu Province, police’s records show that 631 out of the 1,066 barangays are not affected. The 591 out of 1,109 villages of Bohol and 32 out of 134 villages of Siquijor are also drug-free.

Lawas said their record is from the lower units and barangays from January until March this year. The PRO 7 is continuing its evaluation and validation.

The official expects that the number of barangays affected will rise in the coming days after suspected junkies or pushers surrender from the places that were initially listed as drug-free.

He also expects the number to drop a few weeks later because these personalities will stop their illegal activities.

“Surrendering is only the first phase of addressing the problem. Treating them is another concern and we hope other government agencies and sectors of the community will help the police,” he said.

Lawas believes the two government-run drug rehabilitation facilities in Central Visayas cannot accommodate all the drug users who surrendered to authorities.

He said most of these centers can only accommodate 25 clients, while the private facilities, at most, can cater to 50 persons.

“Treatment does not necessarily mean a junkie should enter a rehab center,” said Lawas. “It depends on the level of addiction. If the person seldom uses an illegal drug, like once a week or once a month, he can undergo self-treatment with the supervision of a doctor.”

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