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Bacolod mulls outpatient drug program

BACOLOD CITY – Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez wants their district to adopt a program that will augment their need of rehabilitation centers for thousands of drug surrenderees.

The lawmaker said he is adopting a suggestion made by Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves to implement an “outpatient” drug rehabilitation program for drug users since they still lack rehabilitation centers that can accommodate thousands of drug dependents who have surrendered.

“This is a noble idea that will attempt to help drug dependents break free from their current predicament,” said Benitez. “We are capitalizing on the fact that many of them are willing to fix themselves up and be useful citizens again.”

In a privilege speech in the House of Representatives, Teves expressed his gratitude to Benitez and Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Maranon for considering his proposal even as he urged fellow lawmakers to adopt the same.

Teves publicly declared having been hooked in drugs for years, saying that he has kicked the vice 16 years ago.

“I am completely clean, I haven’t even drank a single drop of alcohol for 16 years now,” he said.

To exploit the fact that thousands of drug users have “surrendered” to the police, Teves proposed outpatient drug rehabilitation program that will make use of public high schools at nighttime as temporary centers. (Ben R. Rosario)