A NEGROS ISLAND REGION (NIR) Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) officer identified the top five most abused drugs in the country during a drug prevention forum held last Jan. 30 at Silliman Hall.
Joan Intruzo-Anglo, PDEA Information Officer 3, talked about the causes and effects of drug abuse, and its legal implications.
The talk centered on “how a drug-free nation starts with being a drug-free university.”
According to her, on top of the list of the most abused drugs is shabu which is known as “poor man’s cocaine.” Anglo said that the chemicals in this drug are clearly not for human consumption.
Marijuana, second in the list, is a natural plant drug hallucinogen administered through inhalation of its smoke. She added that this drug increases alertness and sensitivity to the environment.
Third are inhalants, such as rugby, paint, and gasoline, which are, according to Anglo, “readily available and easily abused.” In one of Anglo’s rescues in Manila, she was told by a young inhalant addict that the inhalant was his father’s. This drug is said to make a person feel full even without eating.
Fourth is ecstasy. Anglo referred to it as “party or love drugs.” These drugs, according to her, are rampant in clubs or bars, and cost around PHP1,500-PHP1,800 per tablet. “If you’re heartbroken and caught up with ecstasy, your hallucination will include feeling that everyone in the room loves you,” Anglo added.
The fifth is cocaine, a more expensive stimulant, according to Anglo, that has effects like that of shabu.
Anglo also said that forums talking about the fight against drugs are very important because the early introduction of cigarettes and alcohol drinking to the young is a “gateway to drug abuse.”
Anglo also expounded on RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act. She talked about when and how it is violated, mentioning the penalties that range from six months to life imprisonment, and a fine of PHP10,000 to PHP10,000,000.
In the forum, two recovering drug addicts also shared their stories to the students. Both of them, who used to be patients in rehabilitation centers, are now volunteers of the center to help other drug addicts. Before speaking in Silliman University, PDEA had the same talk at St. Paul’s University Dumaguete regarding drug abuse prevention. Anglo will continue to talk to different schools, barangays, private institutions, and local government units to strengthen preventive measures against drug abuse.
The talk was part of a series of forums which are part of the campaign of the NIR PDEA. The series will run from Jan. 30- Feb. 27 and will cater to junior high school, senior high school, and college students.