Quezon City hosted on Friday (July 15) the 1st QC School Summit on Drug Abuse Prevention Education, which is intended to minimize, if not totally eradicate, drug abuse problems among QC students.
Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte led city government officials during the formal opening of the summit, which had as theme: “Drug Abuse Prevention…A Shared Responsibility.”
The summit, organized by the Office of Vice Mayor Belmonte through the QC Anti Drug Abuse Advisory Council (QCADAAC), enlisted the support of school administrators, guidance counselors and security officers in all public and private schools in the continuing drive against drug abuse.
Vigilance among members of our school and community is no doubt the most effective means of apprehending drug users and pushers in schools, summit organizers said.
Vice Mayor Belmonte, who also chairs the QCADAAC, underscored the need for strong preventive education programs in city schools to effectively address the illegal drug problem. This is to strengthen the city government’s continuing efforts to help secure a better future for the city’s youth, she said.
QCADAAC has partnered with the QC division of city schools, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Health (DOH) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) for the success of the summit, which was held at the QC Performing Arts Theater along Scout Chuatoco in Barangay Paligsahan.
Based on studies, habitual tardiness, absenteeism, poor health conditions, campus conflicts, bullying and growing possibility of injuries and accidents resulting from impaired judgment are just some of the few manifestations of students’ encountering drugs and alcohol problems.
According to the QCADAAC, the profile of drug abusers in Quezon City based on the cases reported from 2002 to 2010 was within the age range of 12 to 17 years old when most of the students have entered high school.
Peer influence has been cited as the most common cause for drug abuse.
Of the more than 5,000 drug abuse cases referred to the council during the period, more than 2,000 came from District II, which is home to the majority of the city’s poor.
To date, there is a continuing effort from the QC government to adopt mechanisms and measures to curb the city’s drug problem. Highlighting these measures is the expansion of coordinative efforts with various organizations and government agencies for the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated program designed in making QC a drug-free community. Precy/ Ej/ Maureen Quiñones, PAISO