Drug rehab treatment done in 3 phases

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija -- Patients at the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) here undergo three distinct phases of treatment, the center's program coordinator Christopher Daraub told the Philippine News Agency in an interview Thursday.

"(The) first phase is the self-discovery phase. This covers the observation period until they understand there is something wrong with what they are doing and that they have a problem," he said in Filipino. This phase usually lasts two weeks.

To deal with this stage, Daraub said they are utilizing the "therapeutic community approach" or "self-correcting" method being used by other training and rehabilitation centers in the country.

This will help DATRC rehabilitation experts determine the exact treatment process for the patients.

"We are not only concentrating on their medical problem but also on their behavioral and psychological (difficulties)," he added.

Usually during first phase, Daraub said, patients have difficulty accepting their drug problem, or that their present difficulties are not their fault.

"In this stage, there is self-denial and some of them are resistant (to get treatment)," he said.

The second phase, which usually lasts two-and-half months, involves the patients' self-discovery or recognition of the possible factors that triggered or contributed to their drug problem or addiction, he said.

"During this stage, they are given reorientation and psycho-therapy treatment, health seminars, as our goal from that period is to (get them healthy) to enable them to get back to the norms of society and if needed, this also includes detoxification," Daraub stressed.

Detoxification however depends on a doctor's assessment of a particular patient and the latter's drug use.

Treatment during the second phase is done in groups of 25 to 50, Daraub added.

Other activities include sports, livelihood activities and religious studies.

The third phase, also known as the "self-modification actualization" part, which also lasts two months, is the stage where the patients are usually given reinforcements and seminars that would help them combat drug addiction further, once they are allowed outside.

After their release, patients are strictly monitored for a month after which they are then placed in "after care", an 18-month period where they are periodically monitored and instructed to report to their respective municipal or town halls every week.

If they pass this last part without experiencing a relapse, then that is the time they receive their "rehabilitation certificates", enabling their return to normal life, Daraub said.

Source: Philippines News Agency