Philippines’ Preventive Drug Education Approach

The Philippines adopts the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention which stipulate that prevention initiatives should target the various developmental stages and settings.


The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), with the help of various implementing agencies and organizations in the Philippines, has a range of educational programs and services designed to cater to the needs of every sector of society. It has programs that engage the youth, address the needs of parents, and provide employers, educators, health professionals, policymakers, and other sectors with information on the prevention and control of drug use.




A key program implemented to strengthen the family as the first line of defence against drug abuse is the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting where parents are taught ways to improve their relations with their children, and detect and refer drug dependents for appropriate care. A well-informed parent-youth resource against drug abuse was also developed to discuss common issues and concerns and promote a joint association that will help minimize drug problem in the family and community.

The senior citizens or elderly are also tapped as advocates in drug abuse prevention and control

Schools and other Youth Touch Points

The flagship program implemented for the youth is dubbed as the “Barkada Kontra Droga” or Peer Group Against Drugs. This program has been institutionalized in order to enlist the participation of more in and out-of school youth and eventually organize them into a movement of young people who are catalysts within their peer groups in advocating a healthy and drug-free lifestyle.

Drug prevention concepts have also been incorporated in the primary and secondary school curricula through the National Drug Education Program or NDEP.

Several other prevention and advocacy programs are implemented for the youth such as the Life Skills Training on Drug Abuse Prevention Education, Inter-School Stage Play Competition and Youth Camps.

Youth leaders from all over the nation are also convened annually through the National Youth Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention Education to update them on the current issues and concerns of youth development in relation to the drug abuse prevention campaign.

Leaders of the Youth elected at the Local Government have been mandated, through a DDB issued regulation (Board Regulation No. 5 Series of 2019), to implement a uniform and standardized drug abuse prevention education training program.

Several activities to engage the participation of the youth are also conducted throughout the country yearly. Concerts featuring local and upcoming artists are held along with caravans and exhibits in key areas frequented by the youth like malls.

In 2019, a partnership with a movie production house (Perkins Twins Productions) was sealed in the making of a full-length advocacy film entitled “Kaibigan,” or “Friends.” This movie was screened in cinemas throughout the country. With the support of the Department of Education, the film was also shown in different schools nationwide. 


Communities have been in the center of drug prevention and control efforts in the country. For the DDB, the most effective interventions are the ones that emanate from the community, carried out by the community, for the community.

Local Government officials and community leaders are provided with training programs to strengthen their capacities to lead the implementation of drug abuse prevention and control programs in their communities which includes the conduct of advocacy programs, preventive education activities, and community-based treatment and rehabilitation services.

In 2017, the DDB has also partnered with the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor for the conduct of an anti-drug program dubbed as “Urban Poor Against Drugs: Harnessing Capacities for Drug-Free Communities.”

This program aims to build the capacities of peoples’ organizations in taking action against the proliferation of illegal drugs and drug abuse in urban poor communities. It also aims to identify and provide alternative activities for segments of the population vulnerable to drugs abuse.

The DDB also spearheads the conduct of capacity-building workshops for those at the forefront of drug abuse prevention and control programs such as elected officials of local government units and health and social workers. They are provided with orientation and training on strengthening anti-drug abuse councils, implementing drug-clearing program, and establishing community-based treatment and rehabilitation services for Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDs).

As a result, cities and municipalities throughout the country have been taking the lead in the implementation of community-based treatment and rehabilitation programs. Interventions to rehabilitate PWUDs include medication-assisted treatment, detoxification counseling, home-based care and therapy, health services, wellness promotion programs, and other psychological interventions.

As part of the reintegration program for PWUDs, an alternative development program dubbed as “Tahanang Pangkabuhayan” or “Sheltered Workshops” was also launched to provide skills training and livelihood assistance to recovering drug users enrolled in community-based treatment and rehabilitation programs.