U.S. Strengthens Drug Demand Reduction Programs in the Philippines through Support for Outreach and Drop In Centers

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), in collaboration with the Dangerous Drugs Board and the Colombo Plan, virtually launches a new program designed to strengthen drug demand initiatives in the Philippines.

Manila, November 27, 2020 – On November 25, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), in collaboration with the Dangerous Drugs Board and the Colombo Plan, virtually launched a new program designed to strengthen drug demand initiatives in the Philippines by supporting four outreach and drop in centers across parts of the country.

The project aims to further the development of a community-based approach to drug treatment and rehabilitation through outreach and drop in centers.  The centers will provide services for people who are at risk of developing substance use disorders, including community outreach, screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment.  The specific objectives of this project are:

  • Capacity-building for outreach workers from the drop in centers;
  • Mentorship to standardize service provision and improve program effectiveness;
  • Strengthening the network of relevant stakeholders and service providers for at-risk and drug-using populations; and
  • Helping the centers identify sustainability strategies.

During the launch, INL Director Kelia Cummins announced the four outreach centers selected as recipients of funding and support for this two-year project.  The project will enable the centers to provide clients access to basic health, assist in preventing or minimizing harm and risks associated with drug use, increase motivation to seek treatment, and refer clients to centers where they have access to a full range of services, when necessary.  These centers will also serve as a facility for aftercare services such as recovery group meetings.  Training on community outreach methodologies will include information and strategies on making treatment provision programs sustainable.  Cummins noted this program was an important step towards making these essential services accessible and available for all.

This project is a component of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines’ comprehensive efforts on drug demand reduction covering prevention, treatment, recovery, and policy development. The Colombo Plan – Drug Advisory Program is the only regional intergovernmental program exclusively aimed at capacity-building for drug demand reduction in the Indo-Pacific region.

INL has partnered with the Colombo Plan in promoting and implementing evidence-based practices in substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Learn more about INL and its Drug Demand Reduction programs globally at www.state.gov/j/inl.