Reducing the stigma of substance use in the Philippines

Unsplash - Nathan Dumlao


Reducing the stigma of substance use in the Philippines

8 May 2021

By Gabriela Baron / Latest

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stigma is a major cause of discrimination and exclusion and it contributes to the abuse of human rights. Stigma is rarely based on facts but rather on assumptions, preconceptions, and generalizations.

IDUCare, a Cebu City-based organization, aims to counter the stigma that is often faced by persons who inject drugs (PWID).

“Before we started in 2015, we gathered drug users [in the] community and we [had] a three-day consultation with them and we came up with the IDUCare model within that consultation and we laid out the objectives and components of the organization and detailed activities,” Johan Nadela, Founder and Executive Director of IDUCare, said during the Philippine Harm Reduction Summit.

The goal, he added, was to have a peer-based community for people affected by drugs focusing towards behavior change, integral health, and upholding and defending human rights. Through offering legal rights literacy and paralegal services training to PWIDs, IDUCare hopes they could also “help other drug users.”