City Council lauds Addu’s anti-illegal drugs center

City Council lauds Addu’s anti-illegal drugs center
ADDU-CAID

THE 20th Davao City Council commended Ateneo de Davao University’s (AdDU) Center Against Illegal Drugs (Caid) for winning the “Most Innovative Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy Award.” 

Councilor Pilar Braga said during the council session on Tuesday morning, June 11, 2024 at the Sangguniang Panlungsod that AdDU’s Caid has demonstrated its commitment to combating illegal drugs mirroring the institution to supporting the City Government of Davao’s commitment to anti-illegal drug campaign.  

“Caid of Ateneo de Davao University has distinguished itself among other regions in the country by developing and implementing the Most Innovative Philippine Anti-Drug Strategies, thereby significantly contributing to the national anti-drug campaign,” she said. 

Braga, who chairs the committee on education, science, and technology, arts, and culture, expressed that their achievement is the university’s dedication to fostering a drug-free environment and raising public awareness about the risks of using illegal drugs.

Dr. Melba Manapol, member of the board of directors of Caid, told SunStar Davao in an interview, that their comprehensive approach has led to the success of their program. 

Their comprehensive approach includes a healing and recovery program for drug surrenderers, a drug-free workplace policy, and the Multiplier Farm project, which supports the livelihood of reformists.

They also focus on human rights-based police training and mandatory drug testing within the university, maintaining a zero percent positivity rate. 

Additionally, the establishment of a drug helpline or referral hotline spearheaded by Dr. Apple Alvarez, provides essential counseling for individuals who used drugs across the Philippines.

Manapol said, “What made us get the awards were how we collaborated with networks that they’ve established. In AdDU, we have different offices like the Wellness Center, Office of Student Affairs, Samahan and other units. What really helped us were the interns of programs from Social Work, Political Science, Psychology, and Nursing.” 

This synergy has been crucial in embedding Caid’s programs into the university’s structure and has been a key factor in their recognition by Ched.

Despite their success stories, Caid also faced challenges; Manapol mentioned how the pandemic posed unprecedented challenges, disrupting community engagement so they opted to use social media.  

They also encountered financial constraints that threaten the continuity of their helpline and referral services. 

“Nanawagan pud mi, kung naay mga generous hearts [We are calling the attention of those with generous hearts] if they can support the center, to help the programs do more and save a lot of souls in Davao City,” Atty. Romeo Cabarde Jr. extends a heartfelt appeal to the community. 

Caid is looking into developing new initiatives like “Safeguard,” which combines mandatory drug testing with a helpline, and “Champion,” an internship and volunteer program aimed at providing community assistance, including legal support for families affected by drug-related issues.

“Caid has partnered up with Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center or DTRC under DOH in Malagos to open the facilities in Caid since Caid does the assessments. We will also open the center for family and group therapy sessions for persons who used drugs,” Manapol said. Andrea Caroline Enya G. Plaza/Addu Intern

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