Across the world there is a drug crisis, with millions of people suffering and not having the adequate resources to go through a drug detox and get the help they need. Governments globally are trying to combat this, with initiatives, new rehab centres and more, with getting the drugs off the street a number one priority.
Rehab centres are claiming the economic climate, as well as increasing mental health concerns as a result of it is largely to blame, alongside the ease of getting hold of drugs.
In the Philippines that is certainly the case and there’s a current war on drugs that has cost htousands of lives. Now, the government are pointing the finger at the National Police, with hundreds of officers at the very top having been asked to resign in a bit to try and curb the illegal drug trade, which officials believe to be thriving due to corruption in the force.
Benjamin Abalos Jr, the interior secretary stated that around 300 police officials should step down as it’s the only way to “make a fresh start” as the country continues to struggle with its large-scale drug problem.
Abalos said in a news conference, “This war on drugs will be a difficult battle especially when your own allies are the ones shooting you from behind.”
In recent years a number of government offificals have spoken out about the problem of drugs in the Philippines, with former President Rodrigo Duterte claiming that the country was close to becoming a “narco state” such was the issue.
There have been a number of seizures over the last few years, with approximately $1.4 billion worth of methamphetamine being captured between July 2016 and May 2022, while reports have revealed that two in every 100 people between the ages of 10 and 69 were using drugs.
That’s a breathtaking number of people, but few are still going through recovery centres and getting the drug detox treatment they need. In the same year the report, which estimated 1.7 million Filipinos were taking drugs, just over 5,000 people sought treatment.
That’s an incredibly low amount and clearly more needs to be done to encourage people to get the help they need in the country, alongside removing it from the streets.
Whether the reforms in policing will have any luck in seizing more illegal drugs we’ll see over the next 12 months, but looking at the statistics, it’s not just the war that needs to end, but also ensuring that education and support is out there for those that need it too.