To help drug users: Church to launch 'New Hope'

CHURCH leaders and laity have decided to take the drug problem to their backyard, literally.

Fred Puntawe, president of the Diocesan Council of the Laity, the Saint Paul Parish and the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish plan to set up a rehabilitation center focusing on detox and spiritual healing dubbed as "Project New Hope."

The project aims to help the more than 800 drug dependents in the city who have surrendered to authorities out of the more than 7,000 in the region.

"Ironically, the government is seemingly unprepared to address the issue of rehabilitation considering the enormous number involved and the absence of infrastructure and support services in the Cordillera region," the group of religious and laity said.

The program is divided into three parts, starting from detoxification, psycho-social counseling and spiritual formation.

The project aims to provide an immediate rehabilitation and wellness program among drug dependents by way of the traditional Chinese medicine with primary clients among the marginalized and those who cannot afford to submit themselves to the costly private and even government facilities.

Government centers cost roughly around P10,000 a month for a three month program while private center cost P40,000 a month for a 12 month program.

On the other hand, the New Hope program can cost as low as P5,000.

Set up as well as upkeep for the project is expected to reach P400,000, with the funding coming from various dioceses in the region as well as donations from private and government sectors.

The rehabilitation center focuses on alternative healing program involving ear acupuncture/acudetox (NADA Protocol) detoxification and stress management which is known to cure anxiety, depression due to psychological trauma, emotional and behavioral problems, drug addiction including alcohol and smoking.

Ear acupuncture is the simulation of acupuncture points on the external ear surface for diagnosis and treatment in other parts of the body because the ear holds a micro system of the body, studies show ear acupuncture is efficient in treating disorders, addiction and pain.

Proposed chairman for the project is Baguio - Benguet Bishop Carlito Cenzon with project directors Revered Fathers Camilo Ongsit from the Saint Paul Parish, Mario Timbac from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and Rosito Pedro Vicar of the Laity.

Mar Leyrentana of the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish said Spiritual healing can be divided into six stages which can live with the three month program of New Hope with topics for discussion including Christian values, basic Christian concepts, sin and repentance, proper Christian attitudes, how to grow in the Spirit and transformation.


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