Relentless fight vs drug addiction

Relentless fight vs drug addiction

Sep 26, 2023, 2:30 AM
Diego S. Cagahastian

Diego S. Cagahastian


Experts from various disciplines like physicians, psychologists, neurologists, and sociologists have invested quite a number of years studying drug addiction, also known as substance abuse, with particular emphasis on its causes.

But they could not ascertain the exact cause of the malady that has afflicted a large section of the population, especially children and young adults.

There are two dominant theories on the matter, though. That drug addiction is either caused by genetic predisposition or is a habit learned from others. Since the second theory is supported by actual experience, we hold this as true, and thus provides the authorities a working guide on how to combat addiction.

A bad habit passed on by introduction from peer to peer can only thrive in places and venues common to both proponent and victim — such as a party, a bar, the school, home, and the workplace.

Authorities have had extensive experience in confronting substance abuse in parties and places of entertainment, and in schools, but this is the first time that a government agency, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) itself which supervises the police, launched an anti-drugs campaign in the workplace.

The DILG runs this novel program called “Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan (BIDA) Workplace Program” in selected companies and employers nationwide. Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said that the objective of the program is to promote the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign in the private sector.

“We are coordinating with the different employers in the Philippines – the big ones. We have signed agreements with them as part of the BIDA Program,” Abalos said.

The secretary noted that some private firms already have their own programs and policies that are aligned with the advocacies of the BIDA Workplace program, citing the conduct of random drug testing among the personnel as an example. In such random drug tests, if an employee is found to be positive for drugs, the DILG “will let the company handle the matter and enforce appropriate sanctions such as suspension, dismissal, or they can order their employee to undergo rehabilitation.”

Both employers and workers have signified their initial desire to cooperate and support the BIDA Workplace Program, mindful that the factories and offices, call center buildings, etc. should be drugs free to improve productivity and promote safety of all workers and officers working therein.

They recognize that one of the characteristic signs of a substance abuse problem is the deterioration of workplace performance, absenteeism, etc. The cognitive, emotional and behavioral impairment that results from drug or alcohol use can affect productivity, morale, and even safety of co-workers.

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