US trains Filipinos on anti-illegal drug strategies

THE UNITED STATES has trained 120 delegates from 19 local governments in developing strategies against illegal drugs in the Philippines, the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement on Wednesday. 

“Law enforcement alone is not enough,” Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Margarita Gutierrez said in the statement. “We must pursue a holistic approach to this fight by strengthening our drug prevention and control strategies.”  

The US government through its Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs gathered international experts to train Filipinos on how to mitigate the impact of and reduce the demand for illegal drugs in the Philippines.  

Participants were also taught how to conduct community assessments and develop sustainable strategies for anti-drug abuse coalition activities.   

Two certified youth trainers led sessions on countering stigma associated with drug use, promoting mental health and strengthening youth engagement in anti-drug abuse coalitions. 

“Coalitions carry out vital work, such as educating and engaging the youth, volunteering time to holistic care and ensuring the availability of mental health support, often with very little resources,” Kelia Cummins, Manila director at International Narcotics, said in the statement. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan