On its 9th year of holding Pintig, the College of Human Ecology (CHE) officially kicked off its weeklong series of webinars with one that tackled substance abuse in children and the youth.
Pintig is CHE’s adolescent development and psychosocial support extension program.
Themed “Transcend II: Youth Rising up to a Better Normal,” this year’s webinars are anchored on the overarching topic of understanding and addressing problematic substance use among adolescents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his opening remarks, Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. expressed his pleasure that UPLB is fully engaged in this type of advocacy.
He said that he hoped that the platform would bring together youth development workers and academic experts on substance abuse prevention and recovery from the Philippines and abroad.
According to him, UPLB must foster the sharing of knowledge, best practices, and the building of networks for collaboration, the key value that the university wishes to promote among its stakeholders.
He pointed out that this will motivate participants to address the issue of substance abuse both in families and communities, and to work together to ensure that the youth fully understands the dangers and fully rejects substance use.
The session’s speaker, King Emmanuel C. Filart, project development officer of the US Agency for International Development Renew Health, discussed the systemic perspectives of risk for drug use, developmental factors associated with risk for drug use, predictors of drug use, and implications for drug interventions and treatments.
Filart recommended that since drug use has systemic causes, interventions must be systemic and synergistic as more severe adolescent drug use is associated with one’s developmental history and context of cumulative risks.
He also presented how the risk for adolescent drug use is heightened by transitions during life stage, and how the family plays a crucial role in adolescent drug-use and recovery.
In closing, Filart said that the youth have the right to be nurtured, protected, and supported to be drug-free and well-adjusted adults. He said that adults, too, must take care of themselves, especially in this time of pandemic.
Reacting to Filart’s presentation were psychologist Ma. Veronica Felipe and Dr. Teri Marie Laude.
Felipe, who is the 10th director of Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programmes and an internationally certified addiction professional, said that substance addiction is not a character flaw, a personality disorder, nor a moral failing, but it is a health problem.
She discussed the risks and protection factors, stressing the importance of family involvement, and the different classifications of prevention and interventions.
Laude, a licensed physician, a reproductive health officer of the UPLB Gender Center (UPLBGC), and a faculty member at the Department of Human and Family Development Studies (DHFDS) of CHE, presented some key concepts on how physicians and families can integrate to come up with a definitive management plan for someone who is ill; and for those who have not been in such predicament, to prevent such health concern.
Since 2013, Pintig has been holding free workshops and fora on psychosocial issues and concerns among adolescents. It has provided a safe space for healing and reflection, as well as holistic, transformative, and empowering experience for its participants.
Dr. Ricardo M. Sandalo, dean of CHE, said that he encourages holding this kind of conversations, and that he hopes that through this, participants can pick up new ideas and solutions to address socio-ecological problems.
Attended by over a thousand online participants across the country, the event was held via video conference and streamed live on Pintig’s official Facebook Page. Pintig 9 is hosted by Pintig Adolescent Development and Psychosocial Support Program, DHFDS, Human and Family Development Society, and UPLBGC, and co-presented by UP OIKOS. (KEAraguas)