The politics of drug rehabilitation in the Philippines

Lasco, G., & Yarcia, L. E. (2022). Health and Human Rights, 24(1), 147

The international consensus to end compulsory drug treatments and close forced rehabilitation facilities needs urgent transformation to country policies. In the Philippines, as with other countries in Asia, rehabilitation can be compulsory and is seen as the humane alternative to the “war on drugs.” In this paper, we present the landscape of rehabilitation and narrate the ways in which people who use drugs are forced to undergo treatment. We unpack the politics behind rehabilitation and explain the sociocultural foundations that support compulsory treatment. We argue that a transition to a human rights-based approach, including voluntary alternatives in community settings, is possible by capitalizing on the reforms that are, unwittingly, the result of the “war on drugs.” Read more