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