Living with Tokhang: Mistrust and Fear in a Drug War–Affected Community in the Philippines

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With narratives from residents of an urban; marginalized; drug war-affected community; this chapter aims to show the “lived effects” of the government’s drug policies; focusing on the perspectives of young people. Do they really feel safer as the government claims? What are the changes in their communities; social relations; and drug-use patterns? As a secondary objective; this chapter aims to validate and update findings on drug use from previous researches conducted in the Philippines and elsewhere in Southeast Asia: How do people view drugs; and how has the drug war affected their drug use? Taken together; these questions help scrutinize the “balanced approach” that the government characterizes its drug policies as well as the efficacy of the anti-drug campaign in terms of its promise of providing safety to communities and eliminating the use and trade of drugs.