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DanceSafe.org : Raves and Club Drugs in the News : Philippines: Cebu Shabu Supply Dipped
Pubdate: Sun, 06 Mar 2005
Source: Sun.Star Cebu (Philippines)
Copyright: 2005 Sun.Star
Contact: sunnex@sunstar.com.ph
Website: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/
Fax: (63-32) 254-6530
Author: Rene H. Martel
Cited: Philippine Dangerous Drugs Board http://www.ddb-ph.com
Cited: Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency http://www.pdea.gov.ph
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/meth.htm (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/areas/Philippines


* Dangerous Drugs Board report shows kids, teens getting hooked on drugs, although those 21 to 30 years old still make up half of all dependents

* PDEA 7 director asks for more information from communities, including unsigned letters, to help government curb narcotics supply

* Raids on shabu manufacturing laboratories in Mandaue City last September helped tighten supply, PDEA official says

* To keep youngsters away from drugs, he seeks families, schools and neighborhoods' help in teaching kids how to cope with peer pressure, boredom, frustration and stress --- factors commonly associated with drug abuse

Shabu prices have indeed gone up.  A gram that used to fetch just P1,000 already costs P5,600, or a 560 percent increase as of December last year, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency ( PDEA ) 7. 

Supt.  Amado Marquez Jr., PDEA 7 director, said that when police operations started cutting into shabu supply, the price per gram soared to P3,100. 

After the raids on the shabu laboratories in Barangays Umapad and Paknaan, Mandaue City last September, prices again went up. 

The figures suggest that shabu supply in Cebu has gone scarce, which is the reason drug dealers are now diluting what they sell with tawas and even salt. 

"Maybe if the shabu labs remained in operation, one gram of shabu would only cost P5," Marquez said, referring to the Umapad raid. 

Hooked Younger

Quoting a Dangerous Drugs Board ( DDB ) report, he said there are now an estimated three million drug users in the country, compared with 20,000 in 1972. 

The most number of drug users are those 21 to 25 years old ( 922,000 or 30.75 percent ) followed by 26 to 30 years old ( 600,000 or 20 percent ). 

But what is quite alarming, he said, is that there are now drug users among the 10- to 15-year-olds ( 27,000 or 0.9 percent ) and 16- to 20-year-olds ( 537,300 or 17.91 percent ). 

That confirms that some drug dependents are still in elementary or high school. 

Quoting the same report, Marquez said there are more single persons ( 1,638,900 or 54.63 percent ) compared with married ( 779,100 or 25.97 percent ), live-in ( 447,600 or 14.92 percent ), separated ( 116,400 or 3.88 percent ), or widowed ( 18,000 or 0.6 percent ) individuals who use drugs. 

In terms of occupation, the unemployed ones composed the bulk of users, with 1,468,500 ( 48.95 percent ), followed by the self-employed ( 501,600 or 16.72 percent ), students ( 492,600 or 16.42 percent ), out-of-school youths ( 393,900 or 13.13 percent ), and those with jobs ( 143,400 or 4.78 percent ). 

School Levels

Majority of them attended but did not finish high school ( 940,200 or 31.34 percent ), followed by those who managed some college ( 868,500 or 28.95 percent ), elementary only ( 671,700 or 22.39 percent ), college graduates ( 277,800 or 9.26 percent ) and high school graduates ( 211,800 or 7.06 percent ). 

And of the three million drug users, 2,769,300 ( 92.31 percent ) were males, while 230,700 ( 7.69 percent ) were females. 

The most commonly abused drugs are shabu, marijuana, cough syrups, nubain, rugby, Ecstasy, heroin, and cocaine. 

What Pulls Them

Marquez said drug users commonly resort to drugs because of peer pressure, curiosity, boredom, frustration, stress, escapism, lack of parental guidance and focus in life. 

This can be addressed if one understands himself and learns self-respect. 

Most of all, he added, each one should have a strong moral and spiritual foundation so as to have the strength to refuse the lure of drugs. 

Also, Marquez asked the public to provide information on activities of drug dealers by calling him through his landline ( 233-3165 ) or cell phone ( 0920-8455964 ) or by sending him a letter. 

He has his quarters at the PDEA 7 office inside Camp Arcadio Maxilom along Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City and is available anytime. 

He assured the public that PDEA 7 will treat information with utmost confidentiality and even accept letters from anonymous informants. 

Tips, he said, should include all information and a sketch so he and his men are guided in their surveillance work. 

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