Coping with ‘surrenderees'
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The entire country seems to be sighing in relief as more and more people involved in illegal drugs are coming out to admit that they have been using them and offer to be rehabilitated, as well, pledging to stop the illegal and destructive practice.
Our police and officials are rejoicing at what seems to be a huge success, triggered by threats of elimination in the new administration. And, indeed, who would not be afraid with the news everyday recounting the number of suspected users, pushers, or traders allegedly killed for such questionable reasons as “resisting arrest”, engaging in a “shoot-out”, or “grabbing the firearm of arresting officers”, for which they may not be able to get witnesses to testify it wasn't so?
While we admire the efforts of our police and other involved agencies, however, there is a question of how these “surrenderees” are to be dealt with so their pledges to stay away from the illegal substances can be kept. Where and how are they going to get the treatment, and the support so they can, figuratively, get the monkeys off their backs?
It is an easy matter to come out and own up, but how is the state, or even just the province or city, cope with the thousands needing professional and sustained help? It may be easy to stop, but what about complying? This is not an ordinary ailment that can be helped by home care, and such treatment could take months or more. One wonders if our government is ready for this influx of patients, for they can be considered such, to really and successfully help them to get rid of their addiction.
This is something that the new administration should prioritized if we are truly serious about eliminating this vice, which can also be regarded as an ailment that needs financially sustained attention and care.*