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Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian

Drug abuse prevention courses proposed

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Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian have filed a bill which seeks to integrate a drug abuse prevention program in junior and senior high school, according to a report by GMA News.

Senate Bill 2236 or the Drug Abuse Prevention Program in Basic Education Act, aims to discuss drug abuse prevention in Health subjects for Grade 7 to 10; Physical Education and Health for Grade 11, and Personal Development for Grade 12.

The program will cover the following topics: adverse effects of abuse and misuse of dangerous drugs; preventive measures; health, socio-cultural, psychological, legal and economic dimensions of the drug problem; available services for treatment and rehabilitation; and misconceptions on the use of dangerous drugs.

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In filing the measure, the lawmakers cited a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report released in 2020 which showed that vulnerable and marginalized groups, including youth and women, are more prone to drug use, trafficking, and cultivation to earn money due to the rising unemployment and reduced opportunities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report also said that poverty and limited education remain as factors in increased risk of drug use disorders.

SB 2236 will mandate the Department of Education (DepEd) to collaborate with the Department of Health (DOH), the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and relevant non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to strengthen the implementation of the drug abuse prevention program.

These agencies will likewise establish and provide capacity building and training courses for teachers on drug abuse prevention.

“The Drug Abuse Prevention Program is a responsive and inclusive program which aims to equip the young generation of Filipinos with critical information and skills on drug abuse prevention - aspiring to safeguard and protect their lives and their future,” the lawmakers said in their explanatory note.


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