Ifugao reflection camp brings hope to drug surrenderers

KIANGAN, IFUGAO – The Ifugao Reflection Camp (IRC) at Tiger Hill in this historic town offers new hope to drug surrenderers and their families.
Jane, 35 and Mary, 26 (not their real names), spouses of two campers (drug surrenderers) in the IRC shared that through the various reformatory activities being undertaken at the center; attitudes of their husbands have changed.
Jane narrated that before her husband entered the IRC, he just leaves the house without any word leaving her and the children wondering where he is. Now, he discloses his whereabouts and what time he will come home.
His stay at the IRC entails some sacrifices with Jane doing all the work to support the family but she is not complaining for the sake of her husband’s sincere reformation for them to have a happy family.
Mary, on the other hand, shared that her husband is now participating in community activities and going to chapel to worship.
“We are thankful to those who contributed to the successful establishment of the IRC that would help our husbands, brothers and relatives to have straight paths for the benefit of our families and the community as well,” they said in an interview. They also stressed the importance of family support system for drug surrenderers in their quest to reform for a better life, family and drug-free community.
The IRC is a half-way house that provides drug abuse behavioral therapy, whose results determine the next disposition of the surrenderers. It was established by the provincial government last year following the surrender of many drug users and pushers in the province with the intensified war against illegal drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte. Its supervision and operationalization is a hands-on joint effort of the line agencies that comprise the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC).
Upon entry into the IRC, a drug surrenderer avails the following services: Temporary Confinement (shelter, food, water, etc.), Medical Assistance (including drug test), Health & Fitness Therapy, Counseling/Psycho-social Intervention, Spirituality and Life Skills Capability-Building, and Referral.
Unless immediately referred for court-ordered rehabilitation or charged in court by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency/Philippine National Police, a surrenderer stays in the camp for six intermittent rounds of six days each. Between each round, he or she is returned to his/her residence and placed under the custody of the Municipal or Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council for a three-week period. The council will utilize the S.M.A.R.T. Scorecard for monitoring and provision of interventions whenever necessary.
The Behavioral Intervention at the camp starts with Detoxification and progresses to and Personal Evaluation and Change Examination (PEACE) Phase. This covers medical profiling including drug testing and HFDT, Indoctrination in the Morning Meeting Ritual of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s Therapeutic Community Modality Program, and the Personality Development Modules of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.
The Therapy Phase starts with administration of three psychometric tests to determine the level of the surrenderer’s acceptance and readiness to be rehabilitated. He then undergoes progressive sessions in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Family Behavioral Therapy. Advanced sessions are provided as the surrenderer recurrently returns to the IRC after each three-week stay in the community. His reformation is reinforced by Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy and Medical monitoring by the Municipal Social Welfare & Development Office and Municipal Health Office.
Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistant Secretary Jose Antonio Hernandez recently visited the IRC to observe the processes for possible national template. MBL/PIA-Ifugao / ABN

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