Packed rehab centers pose new problems in Philippines anti-drug war

By REUTERS
September 17, 2016 09:18

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has seen a surge of drug users surrendering to the police in two months since he took office, stoking concerns that there aren't enough rehabilitation centers available to cope with the increasing demand.

At Manila's largest government-run rehabilitation center in the suburb of Bicutan, over 1,500 drug users have been admitted despite the center's maximum capacity of 1,000.

"Before the anti-drug campaign started, we used to have seven or eight admissions a day. When the campaign began, we were admitting 15 to 30 patients a day. So there was an increase of almost double the capacity," said Bien Leabres, the treatment center's director.

Health workers say many of the drug users have had to sleep on the floor, and there's been cutback on food and medicines to cope with the number of new patients being admitted at the center.

Leabres says they are trying to make do with the limited resources and ensure proper treatment for all the patients they hope will be reintegrated into society after a year in rehabilitation.


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