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Drug Addiction Treatments in the Philippines: What are the Options?

Drug Addiction Treatments in the Philippines: What are the Options?

Drug addiction is a serious problem not only in the Philippines but around the world. Based on the 2019 statistics from the Dangerous Drugs Board, there were over 5,000 reported admissions to rehab facilities. The vast majority were new cases, while approximately twenty were readmissions. Drug addiction treatments in the Philippines depend on the substance being abused and severity.

Drug addiction treatments in the Philippines

As with any illness or disorder, a thorough examination and diagnosis is necessary. One of the first steps to getting into a rehab clinic in the Philippines is to undergo a drug dependency examination. Licensed and accredited physicians and mental health professionals are in charge of these examinations.

For those that live outside of the Metro Manila area, coordinate with the nearest treatment and rehabilitation center or Anti-Drug Abuse Council.

Treatment modalities

Multidisciplinary team approach

This approach involves cooperation of a healthcare team, the patient, and the patient’s family or support group. The psychologist may provide psychotherapy, the psychiatrist pharmacological intervention and the occupational therapist adaptive skills training.

The medical team includes specialists such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and other related disciplines. By targeting the root cause of a person’s addiction and addressing the barriers to care, addiction treatment can be more effective.

Therapeutic community approach

Next up is the therapeutic community approach. This is a residential treatment for individuals with substance use disorders. This allows individuals to integrate different areas of one’s functioning and make lifestyle changes to achieve recovery.

This approach addresses addiction higher than the individual level. Addiction is a complicated disorder that has both personal and environmental components. Using drugs may be a choice, however addiction is not.

The Minnesota model

The Minnesota model is a 12-step addiction intervention based on the treatment for alcohol addiction. It is a holistic model that utilizes lectures, behavioral therapy, and religious beliefs. The length of therapy is approximately a month long or 28 days. The ideal result is complete abstinence from the addictive substance.

Spiritual approach

As the name suggests, the spiritual approach requires religion or belief in a higher being. Christianity is the main religion in the country, therefore the Bible is used. Here, drug use and addiction is considered a sin. In this modality, patients are encouraged to pray and dedicate themselves to improving their relationship with God.

Eclectic approach

Lastly, the eclectic approach to drug addiction therapy is another modality available. This is another holistic approach to treatment, similar to the Minnesota model. It combines spiritual and cognitive components of 12-step treatments, while also including aspects of community therapy. This method also requires consultations with doctors and mental health specialists to address the medical aspects of addiction.

What Happens in Rehab for Addiction?: What to Expect

Pharmacological Interventions

While addiction cannot be cured using medications the same way a cold or infection can, there are medications available to make quitting easier. There are many unpleasant physical and mental effects of quitting an addiction. The most notable are the withdrawal symptoms.

Smoking cessation programs utilize nicotine-replacement products and other medications that reduce cravings. Nicotine replacement gums, patches, and e-cigarettes can help wean a tobacco user while minimizing withdrawal. These products contain nicotine without the added toxins found in cigarettes. Medications like bupropion and varenicline do not contain nicotine ,but reduce the rewarding effects of nicotine, which makes it easier to quit.

Opioid blockers such as buprenorphine, naloxone, and naltrexone treat opioid addiction and minimize withdrawal symptoms. These bind to the same receptors as opioids like morphine, but do not produce the same “high” effects or dependency.

Key Takeaways

In summary, addiction and substance dependence treatment options are readily available. The government and private rehabilitation centers use different approaches to tackle the physical and mental symptoms of addiction. For more information and treatment, contact a doctor or local addiction rehabilitation center.

Learn more about Addiction here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Treatment and Rehabilitation https://www.ddb.gov.ph/sidebar/64-treatment-and-rehabilitation Accessed February 24, 2021

2019 Statistics https://www.ddb.gov.ph/research-statistics/statistics/45-research-and-statistics/499-2019-statistics Accessed February 24, 2021

ATLAS of Substance Use Disorders https://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/ Accessed February 24, 2021

Principles of drug addiction treatment https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/podat_1.pdf Accessed February 24, 2021

The Minnesota Model: A Clinical Assessment of Its Effectiveness in Treating Anxiety and Depression Compared to Addiction https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11469-019-00168-0 Accessed February 24, 2021

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated May 26