Celebrities appeal to youth to steer clear of drugs amid country's alarming drug problem

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It took the death of five people to bring light to the country's alarming illegal drugs problem, and how it is ruining the lives of our children. Find out the extent of the issue and what local celebrities have to say about it.

The lives of five people claimed by drugs during the "Forever Summer" concert, has brought attention to the widespread drug problem in the country.

Drug abuse among Filipinos has been on the rise, with many minors falling into addiction due to the cheap prices of illicit drugs, particularly Methamphetamine hydrochloride or 'shabu'.

Following reports that even minors who attended the event tested positive for illegal drug use, several local celebrities appealed to the youth to stay away from the lethal substance.

Read: The Father of My Child was a Drug Lord

Gretchen Ho, Vice Ganda, Andi Eigenmann, Mocha Uson, and Richard Poon took to their social media accounts to caution kids against illegal drugs.

Here are their messages:

Different types of lethal drugs sold to kids today. #BeAware

A photo posted by Richard Poon (@richardpoonph) on

Next: The country's youth in danger of drug addiction

Illegal drugs: an alarming problem among the youth

On May 27, Dr. Wency Kiat of St. Lukes, according to Nerisa Almo of PEP.ph, revealed in a radio show that some parents brought their children to the hospital for drug testing after the minors showed signs of sleepiness and absent-mindedness.

The children, ages 12 to 15, admitted to taking drugs during the concert, and tested positive for ecstasy, marijuana, and shabu.

According to the Dangerous Drugs Board, a total of 1.3 million Filipinos are struggling with drug addiction, with shabu ranking first among the most commonly abused drugs. Marijuana and inhalants, such as contact cement, follow closely.

"Methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, and marijuana remain the most abused illegal drugs in the Philippines. Based on 2014 arrest data, 88.78 percent involved the seizure of shabu, while 8.86 percent covered the confiscation of marijuana. Dangerous drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, ephedrine, 'fly-high' and others constitute the 2.36 percent of the drug-related arrests," said Arturo Cacdac Jr. in an article by Dennis Carcamo.

PDEA, in a report on the Philippine Star, revealed that more than 8,000 barangays in the country have a drug problem.

According to PDEA, more than 20% or 8,629 villages out of the 42,065 barangays in the Philippines have reported cases of drug abuse.

"...a barangay is said to be drug-affected when there is a drug user, pusher, manufacturer, marijuana cultivator or other drug personality "regardless of number in the area," the article said.

In Metro Manila, 92% of its barangays are affected, ranking the province as the highest in terms of rampancy of drug-related cases.

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