Drug Menace in the Philippines

The following are the salient revelations from Drug Enforcement Agency chief Dionisio Santiago, PNP AIDSOTF legal head Sr. Insp. Roque Merdegia Jr., VACC president Martin Dino and DDB deputy executive director Rommel Garcia. They were guests at Kapihan sa Sulo held Monday (July 13).

1. The number of drug addicts went down drastically. In 1999, a survey said around 3.6 million Filipinos were drug abusers. In 2001 it went up to as high as 9.3 million. In 2003, it went down to 6.7 million and last year it further went down to 1.8 million.
2. Most of the shabu now being sold are imported from China and Taiwan. The supply is becoming scarce as evidenced by the surge of prices. Last year a kilo of shabu had a street value of P1.5 million. This year it is sold at P10 million per kilo. This prompted drug users to shift to marijuana, cold syrup and even rugby.
3. Although millions are hooked on illegal drugs, only around 5,000 individuals are admitted to various rehabilitation centers.
4. Two of three persons now confined at National Mental Hospital went out of touch with reality due to illegal drugs.
5. Most of the shabu now being pedaled in the streets are adulterated. One kilo of shabu is mixed with some chemicals making it more fatal.
6. Rugby manufacturers are now required to mix their product with a chemical which will result to foul smell.
7. Of all the city and town based anti-drug councils, Makati City’s anti-drug council is the only one accredited by PDEA to conduct raids at suspected drug dens.

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