OPENING REMARKS:

 

Secretary of Health, Dr. Francisco T. Duque III,

Undersecretary of Health Dr. Mario C. Villaverde (Happy Birthday),

Former PITAHC Director Generals,

Board of Trustees of PITAHC,

Distinguished Guests,

Speakers, Researchers, and T&CM practitioners,

A VERY PLEASANT GOOD MORNING!

Truly, God has been good to us…

 

In behalf of the PITAHC, I am honored to welcome you to the 9th TAHC Month Celebration.

As early as the 1970s, the drug problem in the Philippines has been emerging, and in 1972, the “Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972” , amended to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs of 2002, was crafted. Since then, the government has redoubled its efforts to address the problem, but still, these have not been enough to resolve the issue.

 

The increasing number of drug users among our Filipino population has triggered the government’s commitment to solve this menace to society. Substance Abuse Addiction s a formidable condition manifested by a strong desire for drugs, that with continued use, can result in negative consequences; destroying a person’s life and breaking down families. The newspapers headline the murders, rapes, heinous crimes secondary to drug abuse.

 

The impact of drug abuse can be far-reaching, affecting almost every organ in the human body. Drug abuse can:

 

  • Weaken the immune system, increasing susceptibility to infections.
  • Cause cardiovascular conditions ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attacks. Injected drugs can also lead to collapsed veins and infections of the blood vessels and heart valves.
  • Cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain; Or cause significant damage or liver failure.
  • Cause seizures, stroke and widespread brain damage that can impact all aspects of daily life by causing problems with memory, attention and decision-making, including sustained mental confusion and permanent brain damage.
  • Produce global body changes such as breast development in men, dramatic fluctuations in appetite and increases in body temperature, which may impact a variety of health conditions.
  • Although initial drug use may be voluntary, drugs have been shown to alter brain chemistry, which interferes with an individual’s ability to make decisions and can lead to compulsive craving, seeking and use. This then becomes a substance dependency.
  • It can also cause behavioral problems like paranoia, aggressiveness, hallucinations impulsiveness and loss of self-control
  • I t can also cause significant birth defects
  • Finally, pregnant women who use illicit drugs may engage in other unhealthy behaviors that place their pregnancy at risk, such as having extremely poor nutrition or developing sexually transmitted infections.

 

Thus, this year’s theme “Encouraging the Integration of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) in the Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Treatment of Substance Abuse Addiction” is very timely. We are one with our dear President in his fight against drug addiction in the Philippines.

As the PITAHC ventures in mandate towards being a creditable R&D institute in our country, and hopefully, into nationally, we are to develop, innovate and, introduce traditional, alternative, and complementary solutions to our drug or substance abuse addiction.

 

Very controversial as of this times in the HB180 later known as HB 6517, with the use of medical Cannabis for various health ailments. The stand of PITAHC is that we will be involved in the R&D of medical Cannabis for the use of various health problems, primarily PAIN, but as of this moment in time, we cannot legalize its use.

We are on in the observance of the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week of the DDB (Nov. 19-29, 2017).

Our program today is very timely in the observance of this activity as we have the following:

 

·         Integration of T&CM;

·         Ear acupuncture for detoxification;

·         Naturopathic approach towards life after TOKHANG

·         Conventional medicine Treatment for SUBSTANCE ABUSE

 

Former Secretary Paulyn Ubial of the DOH issued Admin Order 2017-0018 which provides for the “Guidelines for Community-Based Treatment and Support Services for Persons who use Drugs in Primary Health Care Setting” to ensure that the interventions are provided to surrenderers to adhere to the principles and standards of drug treatment and rehabilitation. The same issuance was adopted by the DDB in its meeting last September 27, 2017.

 

Thus, it is imperative upon each agency to contribute to the drug campaign according to its expertise and competence. Otherwise, the anti-drug campaign is imperiled and the quality of the rehab program adversely affected.

 

Thus, my challenge to all of us here in this convention: T&CM practitioners, academe, let us work together to further our knowledge and skills to help our fellowmen suffering from this malady – SAA, and be an instrument towards making our country a better place to live in. MABUHAY tayong lahat!

 

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