SENATOR Grace Poe on Wednesday sponsored a measure seeking to provide an affordable drug rehabilitation treatment for Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) beneficiaries.
Senate Bill 2843 aims to integrate rehabilitation treatment of drug dependents as one of the benefit packages that may be elected or an option by a PhilHealth member.
Poe, in her sponsorship speech, said illegal drug use is a significant problem in the country today.
To date, Poe said treatment for drug dependents is among those excluded from the benefit package of PhilHealth.
But through the measure, the senator said she hoped that PhilHealth will embark on a health technology assessment, which will provide affordable drug rehabilitation to arrest the increasing incidence of drug abuse and dependency.
“This is not just the enforcement of the law against drug pushers but the rehabilitation of the users that will actually help the young of today who are dependent on drugs. We need to have these drug rehabilitation centers provided for by our PhilHealth programs and benefits,” Poe said.
She added everyone has the chance to turn away bad habits such as substance abuse.
An estimated 1.7 million Filipinos, most of whom are youth, are hooked on drugs, according to the Dangerous Drugs Board.
The senator noted that most abused drugs are marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or shabu, opium, ecstasy and such inhalants as nitrates and even gasoline and solvents, as these can be the cheap way for people to get “high.”
She added that the problem of drug addiction heightens with the new set of designer drugs, whose effects can pose health risks.
Some of the new illegal drugs are named Superman, Fly-high, Party and the other variations of ecstasy like 3 or 4 methyl shabu compound and the date rape drug or gamma hydroxyl butyric acid. (Sunnex)