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We used to admire the genuine desire of President Duterte to address the problems of addiction in our country. We can feel his disgust and rage over what is happening and most of our people can relate with him. But the way we deal with the pressing issues is both painful and scary.

We had been in pain, in anguish and fear for the longest time when it comes to addiction.  From our tortured emotions, slaughter seems to be the best way out for some. Although I’m afraid if it can do much in dealing with the problems we have at hand.

Our natural reaction when we hear the word “addict” is a threat.  We usually hide or deny when we found out a loved one is addicted. We do not even want to think about it. We are afraid of what it may bring us, and of what will happen.

In our barangay, we protect ourselves when we knew someone is an addict by getting away from them. A student will be expelled from school once identified an addict.  In the church, addicts never go, that’s what we thought.  Rarely will they seek treatment. They don’t understand it is a disease, therefore they don’t realize they can recover.

Our initial reaction when we hear crimes is to think that it is committed by someone under the influence of drugs. We always have it right. Many times, many crimes are committed by someone under the influence.

Children being raped by their dads are usually done by a father under the influence of alcohol. The news is filled with crimes committed by people under the same influence. Many of those who were caught admitted they were drunk when they did the assault.

We are lost and this is where most of our confusion lies.  Alcohol is a drug, a legal drug. Addiction to alcohol is the precedence of addiction to other chemicals, particularly the illegal one.

How are we going to eradicate these addicted to alcohol within our home, within the church, within the school, within the congress, within the senate and anywhere we go in the Philippines? Our government entrusted the addicts to men in uniforms of which many are addicted to alcohol. Aren’t they just the same?

Do we really think we are addressing these issues soberly? We hate the addicts when they act out of their mind, the very same thing that is probably happening to everyone of us in dealing with the issue of addiction in our country. We may slaughter every addict we have in town, but we will never be able to stop this affliction without looking at it from a different perspective.

President Duterte understands that these addicts lost their sanity, which is true because the first thing that this chemicals do (including alcohol) is to destroy brain cells. These crying souls in our midst are a victim of a disease long known to mankind.  It is right to punish and destroy those who took advantage of them, they deserve that.  But losing hope in the ability of the victims to recover is the most unkind thing we can do for them.

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