Speaking in a forum organized by the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) last week which was also aired via livestream at the PIA Negros Oriental Facebook page, City Health Officer Dr. Sarah Talla reiterated that substance abuse can damage the physical, mental, and socio-economic aspects of an individual.
Talla explained a person’s physical appearance can change when when he or she is involved in substance abuse.
Common signs include reddening of the eyes or injection marks in the arms which the person hides by wearing shades and long sleeved-shirts.
A person may also develop weight loss or weight gain depending on which type of drug that individual is addicted to.
Stimulants may cause a person to drop weight while hallucinogens may cause a person to eat more and gain weight.
Talla added that a person who is into substance abuse may also develop paranoia or psychosis or sometimes behaviour change.
Ssubstance abuse or drug addiction may also affect the livelihood of an individual.
“Kung nagtratrabaho pwede pirmi absent. Dili na kakumpleto sa number of hours sa trabaho (The person may be absent from work frequently, and could no longer complete the required hours of work),” she explained.
Talla also pointed out that in some cases, drug addiction is linked to sexual abuse.
“Katong among mga kilyenteng (na) mga sexually abused, naay certain percentage na sa forensic interview makaingon sila na nanggamit or gagamit (There is a certain percentage among our clients who are victims of sexual abuse, and during the forensic interview they say that those who assaulted them were into substance abuse),” she disclosed.
The Dumaguete City Health Office (CHO) has been raising public awareness on the dangers of substance abuse by conducting symposia in barangay and schools, but had to temporarily stop it this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile in response to the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign, the CHO also led the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program or the Matrix Intensive Outpatient Program (MIOP) for drug surrendurees who wish to recover from their addiction.
The program covers 13 sessions with a module on community exposure which lasts three to four months.
Part of the sessions include early recovery skills and measures to avoid internal or external triggers.
Talla also highlighted the important role of the family in the recovery of an individual.
“Basin sa family naa problema di niya makaya or sa environment. Sa recovery kinahanglan dako ang role ng family (Maybe there are problems in the family that has greatly affected an individual. The role of the family is important when it comes to recovery),” Talla stressed. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)