Posted on: Wednesday November 27, 2019

Forum on drug abuse prevention held in CamSur
With the theme, “Katarungan para sa kalusugan, kalusugan para sa katarungan,” a total of 150 teachers and students from different parts of Camarines Sur attended forum on Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program sponsored by the Department of Health, in partnership with the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, through the Provincial Health Office, last November 19, 2019 at the Villa Rosita Hotel, Naga City. The forum was held to raise people’s awareness, especially the youth, on the anti-drug campaign and illegal drug abuse.

Lectures included topics on the coping strategies for addiction, addiction as a disease, and the role of family dynamics in addiction. Moreover, an overview of the Provincial Drug Situation and the Salient Provisions of RA 9165 were also presented by representatives from the Provincial Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. The National Drug Education Program (NDEP) was also discussed by an NDEP Coordinator from DepEd CamSur.


Joel Caratao, now a nursing attendant at the Camarines Sur Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, shared his experiences on how once being a drug addict greatly affected his life, career, and family. He talked about his struggles on fighting addiction and the importance of rehabilitation, which gave him a second chance in life. “I reached a point where my own family sent me to jail because of my drug addiction. There were times that I did not go home. They could no longer talk to me because I was high. I left my job. I started selling our things and getting money from my wife’s ATM card and children’s savings just to buy drugs and to gamble. It caused trauma to my wife and children,” shared Caratao.

“I am grateful to my wife because she was there for me while I was going through drug addiction. She did not give up on me even though I caused her pain. She encouraged me to go through rehab even though I was against it at first. I learned a lot from there; those learnings are still with me until today. It also regained my faith in God. A recovery without God is not recovery,” he added. He also stressed that it brings him joy to share the lessons from his experiences to the youth. It helps him boost his confidence as a recovering drug dependent.

“It is part of our responsibilities as a youth leaders, to help guide other individuals away from drugs. We should also equip ourselves with knowledge on the implementation of drug enforcement,” said James Stephen Balbuena, the Supreme Student Government President of Nabua National High School. “I believe this event is significant because it inspires every sector in our society, including students, teachers, and people from DepEd, PDEA, and DOH. We really have a holistic approach towards drug problems. I am grateful to be part of this forum,” he concluded.

The forum is one of the provincial government’s continuous efforts in the anti-drug campaign. It is also a part of its commitment in eradicating illegal drugs in the province alongside with MASA MASID and OPLAN SINAGTALA.




Written By: Kyna De Castro

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