DSWD assists both drug rehab patients and their families

MANILA-- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) extends help to families of drug dependents who are admitted to rehabilitation centers for treatment, an officer has said.

During the rehabilitation process, we are also coordinating with the drug dependents' families. We are assessing who among them need assistance while their head of the family is undergoing rehab, said Pauline Lumina Gaea Viola, social welfare officer at the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, Viola noted that DSWD personnel pay the families of rehab patients a visit to evaluate their condition, identify the interventions they need, and refer them to the local government units (LGUs) for livelihood assistance.

We issue a certificate of treatment as proof that the patient or head of the family is undergoing treatment and rehab so that his family could get assistance. We are more on referrals, said Viola.

Through these referrals, she said, family members who seek employment are sent to the LGUs, which in turn link them to income-generating projects.

Once the drug dependent completes rehab, the DSWD coordinates with the LGU so he could be given skills training that would enable him to earn a living and start a new life.

We monitor the LGUs on how they do their part in this, along with the former drug dependent and his family, Viola said.

She explained that based on protocols, LGUs should actively participate in the 18-month after-care program that follows a patient's rehab, as this stage is critical in ensuring that he lives a normal life and is reintegrated into society as a productive citizen to prevent a relapse.

The Mega DATRC in Nueva Ecija is caring for 217 drug dependents. The center, built on a 10-hectare land in Fort Magsaysay, has a 500-bed capacity that is expandable to 10,000 beds. It was donated by a Chinese businessman and philanthropist in support of the Duterte administration's campaign against hard drug trafficking.

Source: Philippines News Agency