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The Development of a Community-Based Drug Intervention for Filipino Drug Users

  • Ma. Regina M. Hechanova (a1), Arsenio S. Alianan (a1), Mendiola T. Calleja (a1), Isabel E. Melgar (a1), Avegale Acosta (a1), Angelique Villasanta (a1), Kay Bunagan (a1), Camille Yusay (a1), Angelica Ang (a1), Jane Flores (a1), Nico Canoy (a1), Ervina Espina (a2), Gayle A. Gomez (a3), Elena Samonte Hinckley (a4), Antover P. Tuliao (a5) and Miriam P. Cue (a6)...


This article documents the development of a community-based drug intervention for low- to mild-risk drug users who surrendered as part of the Philippine government's anti-drug campaign. It highlights the importance of developing evidence-informed drug recovery interventions that are appropriate to the Asian culture and to developing economies. Interviews and consultations with users and community stakeholders reveal the need for an intervention that would improve the drug recovery skills and life skills of users. Evidence-based interventions were adapted using McKleroy and colleagues’ (2006) Map of Adaptation Process (MAP) framework. The resulting intervention reflected the country's collectivist culture, relational values, propensity for indirect and non-verbal communication, and interdependent self-construal. The use of small groups, interactive and creative methodologies, and the incorporation of music and prayer also recognised the importance of these in the Philippine culture.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Ma. Regina M. Hechanova, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines. Email:


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