In a concerted effort to combat the pervasive issue of substance abuse, the Department of Health (DOH) recently initiated the Biyaheng Kalusugan: Drug Abuse Prevention and Control (DAPC) Week. This transformative event, held in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, seeks to mobilise communities, fostering awareness about the danger of substance abuse and advocating for healthier choices, community resilience, and robust support systems.
The Biyaheng Kalusugan: DAPC Week events was inaugurated in Davao Oriental and Butuan City. It unfolded with a demonstration of interactive and educational activities. These included insightful sessions looking into the detrimental effects of drug abuse, engaging game booths reinforcing the imperative message to “Say No To Drugs!”, lively dance competitions promoting healthy self-expression, a community mural wall for artistic expression, and a temporary canteen facilitating communal interaction over lunch, with peer counsellors offering valuable guidance.
The Playbook Initiative
Central to this year’s DAPC Week was the unveiling of the Substance Use Prevention and Control Playbook. This comprehensive guide is a pivotal component of the Community-Driven Response to Substance Use Program. It is strategically designed to meet the diverse needs of individuals at risk of substance use and those already affected. The playbook serves as a roadmap, integrating an array of health and social services directly into communities, thus fostering a more proactive approach to substance abuse prevention and control.
The DOH took a holistic approach by distributing self-care kits to all student participants to acknowledge the intricate interplay between mental health and substance use. These kits were thoughtfully curated with fidget toys, painting-by-the-numbers kits, and the USAID Renew Health Mind and Body Mental Health Booklet. They aim to encourage the consistent practice of healthier coping mechanisms. This initiative emphasises the pivotal role mental health plays in the broader battle against substance abuse and aligns seamlessly with the DOH’s commitment to addressing mental health as an integral facet of overall well-being.
A Multifaceted Approach
In emphasising the multifaceted nature of preventing drug abuse, Health Assistant Secretary Beverly Lorraine Ho underscored the importance of moving beyond a simple ‘no’ to drugs. Instead, she advocated for a resounding ‘yes’ to healthier choices, resilient communities, and effective support structures. Health Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa echoed this sentiment, highlighting the need to align efforts with the Department’s 8-Point Action Agenda Para sa Healthy Pilipinas, emphasising community engagement, mental health promotion, and strengthening of the healthcare system.
The Biyaheng Kalusugan: DAPC Week events stand as a testament to the DOH’s unwavering commitment to creating communities resilient to drug abuse and fostering a nation where health and well-being thrive. By uniting education, community engagement, and comprehensive support systems, the initiative aspires to address the multifaceted challenges of drug abuse holistically. As the call to uphold prevention, support rehabilitation, and prioritise the well-being of every Filipino resonates, the vision of building a healthier nation for generations to come comes sharply into focus.