Gatchalian calls for better drug education amid 'magic mushrooms' use
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian stressed the need to enhance drug prevention education as he expressed alarm over reports that students are now using “magic mushrooms” as substitutes for illegal drugs.
“Nakakabahala itong ibinahagi ng DepEd [Department of Education] na pagkakasakit ng mga bata dahil sa magic mushrooms at marami rin tayong dapat malaman. Gaano na karami ang naiulat na ganitong uri ng insidente? Paano natuklasan ito ng mga mag-aaral? Saan ito laganap? At ano-ano ang naging mga epekto nito sa ating mag-aaral?” Gatchalian said Sunday in a statement.
(It’s alarming what DepEd said about children getting sick because of magic mushrooms. There is a lot we need to know. How many incidents have been reported? How did the students discover this? Where is this rampant? What are its effects on the students?)
“We need to enhance drug prevention education and strict monitoring in schools,” added Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, arts and culture.
Department of Education (DepEd) Leonor Briones earlier said high school students were hospitalized after consuming mushrooms as an alternative to illegal drugs.
Briones assured DepEd is already cooperating with various agencies to further improve drug prevention education in schools.
“Ang mahalaga sa puntong ito ay ma-protektahan natin ang kabataan mula sa panganib na maaaring idulot ng mga magic mushrooms na ito. Ngayong sinusuri ng DepEd ang kanilang preventive education program, mahalagang masuri kung paano ba ito tatalakayin sa mas mabisang paraan para manatiling ligtas ang ating mga mag-aaral,” Gatchalian said.
(What’s important at this point is to protect our youth from the dangers of this mushroom. Right now, DepEd is already reviewing its prevented education program. It’s important to analyze how to improve discussions on this to ensure the safety of our students.)
Earlier this year, DepEd said it is considering the inclusion of drug prevention education in the public school curriculum amid the government’s crackdown on illegal drugs.