OCAD orders court judges to refer all drug abusers for treatment in DATRC in Nueva Ecija

MANILA-- Acting on the request of Department of Interior and Local Government(DILG), the Office of the Court Administrator (OCAD) has ordered all judges, to refer all drug abusers and dependents to the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

Considering that most government drug treatment and rehabilitation centers are already overcrowded, the Office of the Court Administrator hereby enjoins all concerned judges to refer, as far as practicable, drug users and dependents to the Mega Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, the circular said signed by Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez dated June 6, 2017.

The Operation of the DATRC started last November and the facility has around 10,000 bed facilities and a specialist to attend to the treatment and rehabilitation of drug users and pushers.

According to DATRC program coordinator Christopher Daraub, patients undergoing treatment at the DATRC are divided into three distinct phases.

"(The) first phase is the self-discovery phase. This starts from the observation period until they understand there is something wrong with what they are doing and that they have a problem," Daraub said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency adding the first phase usually lasts two week.

And 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 in determining the exact treatment process for the patients.

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

Usually during first phase, Daraub said patients have difficulty in 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 resistance (in having themselves treated)," he added.

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

"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.

However, detoxification depends on a doctor's assessment on a particular patient and the latter's drug use.

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

Other activities include sports, livelihood activities and religious studies.

And 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, teaching and seminars which will help them in combating further drug addiction 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 weekly.

And if they pass this stage without relapsing back to their drug addiction, then that is the time they will receive their "rehabilitation certificates" enabling their return to normal life.

The drug facility, located at Fort Magsaysay, the country's largest military camp, can accommodate about 10,000 patients.

Huang Rulun, a Chinese real estate billionaire, funded the 100,000-square-meter rehabilitation center, whose construction started last July.

The government is planning to build seven more drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities in various parts of the country.

Source: Philippines News Agency