February 23, 2024

The Department of Health has launched the Substance Abuse Helpline 1550 to ensure the public’s unhampered access to professional assistance for substance abuse amid mobility restrictions due to the community quarantine. 
In collaboration with the Dangerous Drugs Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program (DDAPTP), the hotline will provide support and intervention to persons who use drugs (PWUDs), their families, and the public.
It was established to heighten public awareness and allow easy access to information regarding substance abuse related problems despite the pandemic. 
Through the hotline, trained helpline operators will provide brief assessment, intervention services, and referrals to treatments.
All calls and information will be kept confidential to protect the privacy of those who sought for assistance.
Substance Abuse Helpline 1550​ is available ​from Monday to Friday during regular work hours and accessible by landline and mobile phones. 
DDAPTP Program Manager, Dr. Jose Bienvenido Leabres, said addiction is a chronic but treatable medical disorder. The treatment for mild severity of drug use relies on community-based rehabilitation programs, but PWUDs in the moderate and severe levels should receive treatment in accredited clinics and residential drug rehabilitation centers. 
While substance abuse may be a sensitive issue for some Filipinos to confront, DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said family members and friends play an important role in a PWUD’s decision to seek help. 
“Ang substance abuse problem ay isang sensitive topic na mahirap matukoy sa una at hindi madaling pag-usapan. Katulad ng Covid-19, malayo ang ating mararating kung tayo’y mayroong mutual support at pag-unawa sa bawa’t isa. Sana ay patuloy tayong magtulungan upang maging parte ng solusyon,” Vergeire said. – PNA release