To emphasize the curent drug situation in tis proper perspective, let us briefly review the baseline data on dangerous drugs in 1972. This was the year when the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) started implmenting Republic Act 6425 otherwise known as the Dangerous Drug Act of 1972. At that time, there were only about 20,000 drug users in the country, who were practically concentrated and limited within the confines of Metro Manila are. Most of them were using only marijuana, a locally sourced drug of abuse, which was then grown almost entirely in the cordilleras and to a limited extenet, heroin. The magnitude of the drug problem then was practically negligible and quite manageable by today’s standards.
After 30 years, instead of abating, the drug problem even worsened and has now assumend very alarming roportions. The National Household Survey on the Nature and Extent of Drug Abuse in the Philippines conducted by the Dangerous Drugs Board in 1999 came out with an estimate of 1.8 million regular users and 1.6 million occasional users. The mani drug of abuse is the most dreaded, methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu,” whie drug abuse has now affected the whole nation.
Because of shabu addiction, the volume of heinous crimes increased significantly and 70% of said brutal crimes are drug related. News report about the gruesome rapes of mothers and grandmothers and other undeard of crimes before are becoming common occurrences nowadays.
Additionally, about 20,000 durg cases per year clog the dockets of our courts, as well as crowd our prisons and detention cells. The sheer volume of drug cases further delatys the disposition of cases to the prejudice of the accused, the victims and society as a whole.
The Causes of Drug Use and Abuse
Youth become involved in drugs for a variety of reasons. Though the reasons for teenage drug use are often varied and complex, many are strikingly consistent, such as:
- Peer Pressure
Students take drugs because they want to be accepted and feel part of the crowd. The influence of their own age is especially powerful affects the way they feel, dress and behave.
- Sexual or Physical Abuse
Among young people who have been physically or sexually abused, many turn to drus. There is a strong correlation between child abuse and later drug use.
- Latchkey Kids
Young teens who are left alone most of the time and are not well supervised by adults are tempted or prone to use alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes.
- Parental Example
It is difficulat for children to say no to drugs and alcohol when they know that their parents and relatives are using them. A teenager said that his parents drink hard liquor every time they go out to dinner or entertain their friends at home. “So I drink and take drugs. What’s the difference?”
- The Need to Escape
The complexity and turbulence of adolescence in modern life cause some teenagers to look to drugs as a means to escape. They say drugs enable them to relax and forget their worries. They become carefree.