Wednesday, November 2, 2016

ASSIST-BI test to screen drug 
“Surrenders” for intervention 

CORTES, Bohol October 31 (PIA)—How does Bohol determine who among the 32,319 drug personalities who surrendered merit the necessary intervention?

Capitol executive assistant for health services Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez said determination as to who deserves to be prioritized for rehabilitation is done through a screening test. 

Lopez, who recently completed three terms as a board member and a full term as mayor in Loon said the test is via Alcohol Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test-Brief Intervention (ASSIST-BI).

A pencil and paper test with an 8 point questionnaire, the test also screens for all psychoactive substances other than alcohol and tobacco. 

Giving the update during the joint Provincial Anti Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) and the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting October 25 in Maribojoc, Dr. Lopez explained that the tool helps local governments trim the number of drug personalities who surrendered to get down to those most needing immediate intervention.

This is also in the light of the fact that not all local government units have the instituted facility to cater to drug personalities who surrendered, much less the capacity to put up rehabilitation programs. 

“The tool, which is recommended by the World Health Organization, is designed to be used in primary health care settings where hazardous and harmful substances’ use among clients may go undetected, or become worse,” he bared.

He said it is just a brief pencil and paper test that a drug personality can complete in five to ten minutes, can reveal risks category from low, moderate to high. 

This would also help health authorities devise a fitting intervention, he continued.

By intervention, he means no treatment necessary and the patient is sent home; brief intervention where a patient is placed in a productive detoxification regimen or referred to a specialist assessment and treatment. 

With only a single drug rehabilitation center operating in Bohol and another one planned for construction in the near future, the use of ASSIST-BI would be a critical tool to pick out those needing the intervention, Lopez cited. 

This too as Capitol opened at the Oakbrook Building the first Community based Center for Drug Education and counseling in Bohol weeks back. 

The center is now manned by professionals: doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and social workers, Lopez reported.

Seeing the immediate need to know how many of those who showed themselves to police stations are needing direct intervention or treatment, Capitol cascaded the Community based Center for Drug Education and Counseling concept for 7-man teams in each town who will run local rehabilitation programs, according to Governor Edgar Chatto. 

Not necessarily health professionals, the 7 from the towns managing their respective rehabilitation programs only need to be involved in primary health and social welfare care, Capitol said. 

The same teams would be using the screening tool to get to those needing the most immediate treatment or intervention, PADAC member and Health Officer Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot said. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)
Dr Cesar Tomas Lopez explains to the PADAC members the details of the ASSIST BI as a tool to trim down the list of drug “surrenderers” who would need intervention and treatment, during the joint PPOC and PADAC Meeting in Maribojoc. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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