It’s safe and secluded, tucked away down a narrow residential side street overflowing with lush greenery.Inside, the center’s senior program director grimaces in frustration. Even if you fix him and he gets well, he still might die.”At least 7,000 suspected drug users and pushers have been killed by police or unidentified vigilantes since July.It’s to guarantee safety.“There’s a struggle when we have to explain to families that we’re not cold storage here,” Gomez says.
“It’s very oversimplified without looking at the root causes.”The Duterte administration characterizes its efforts, well, in a much more positive light.“People are saying we support you, Mr.
President, because for the first time you can walk in the streets without being bothered by a lot of criminals,” says John Castriciones, undersecretary of the department of the interior and local government.
JANUARY 8, 2019 – A group of psychologists opposed on Monday the government’s current approach of criminalizing drug users in a bid to end the drug addiction problem in the country.
In a statement, the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) emphasized that such method has been proven ineffective as a solution.
Poor tricycle cab drivers sniff shabu — Filipino slang for methamphetamine — to stay awake throughout the night to be able to earn more money.
For the breadwinners of impoverished families, there often seems to be no alternative.“The problem with the drug war is the way the administration views the drug problem,” says Wilnor Papa, the local campaign coordinator for Amnesty International.
“The criminalization approach distorts ordinary citizens’ and law enforcers’ perceptions of addiction.
By exposing people to frequent occurrences of ‘tokhang’ and vigilante-style killings, it desensitizes them to violations of human rights and reinforces the view that the lives of innocent people are mere collateral damage,” the PAP furthered.
“A lot of the emphasis has been placed on apprehension and killing versus attention to treatment.”Equating drug addicts with criminals has created a climate of fear among users. Duterte’s iron-fisted approach has encouraged over a million alleged drug users and dealers to surrender.
The influx of patients has overwhelmed government rehab centers and challenged doctors to address their patients’ newfound fears.