BBM and Sotto meet to discuss drug prevention and rehab program

Senate President Vicente Sotto III (file photo)

MANILA – President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and outgoing Senate President Vicente Sotto III recently met to discuss his proposals for drug user reform.

Sotto confirmed in a text message on Tuesday evening that he had returned to his former Senate colleague who left him on March 28.

He told the Philippine News Agency via a Viber message that he could help Marcos in an “advisory” capacity.

“Consultative would be enough, I suppose. PBBM supports my proposal to give strong support to substance abuse prevention and rehabilitation,” Sotto said.

The program, Sotto said, aims to prevent illicit drug abuse through a resistance education program for fifth through seventh graders of vulnerable ages.

He added that there will be ongoing seminars, programs and conferences involving parents, teachers, media, the church, athletes and the general public.

He pointed out that a proper drug rehabilitation program must have all kinds of approaches for every drug addict, including therapeutic, faith-based, and multidisciplinary activities modeled after the US-based Minnesota 12-Step Addiction Treatment Program.

According to the program’s website, the model was first used in a state mental hospital in the 1950s and initially focused on abstinence from illegal substances.

Each treatment program is individually designed to meet the patient’s needs and address specific addiction problems.

During the campaign, Marcos said he would expand provincial drug rehabilitation facilities and vowed to go after big drug dealers.

Sotto, who chaired the Dangerous Drugs Board from July 2008 to November 2009, is also known as the author of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

RA 9165 established the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the lead agency in the prevention, investigation and control of dangerous drugs and related illegal activities. (PNA)

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