Development of a Psychosocial Program for Urban Poor Drug Surrenderees

Marie Grace A. Gomez

The intensified anti-drug program of the Philippine government has prompted drug addicts to surrender themselves to local government authorities. Currently, projects involving drug surrenderees involve physical exercises, dancing and spiritual activities facilitated by churches in the barangays. Noting this, the researcher implemented the Problem Experiences Checklists among selected surrenderees and their spouses and children in an urban poor community. Focus group discussion on their concerns were also done to validate their responses. This study is in its initial stage and it is intended to be implemented in the whole city. A mental health facility for drug rehabilitation is already in the process of construction.

The top concerns involve conflict with their spouses, financial concerns and issues with their children. Drug use is commonly done in order for them to work longer hours as the participants claimed that they need to earn more money for their families. Given this, a psychosocial program, guided by the principles of Solution Focus Brief Therapy is recommended for those who have not been in the relapse phase of their rehabilitation and Reality Therapy for those who have minor problems with relapse. The program can be implemented by community health workers. These are undertaken as there are a large number of anticipated participants to the counseling program.