Children Involved in Drugs: Excerpts from Qualitative Research in the Early 2000s

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The drug problem in the Philippines assumed a transnational character in the 1990s with the introduction of shabu. In the early 1990s; shabu was a drug mainly used by the upper and middle classes. By mid-1990s; the proliferation of cheaply processed shabu made it the poor man’s cocaine. Drug users are estimated to be in the nine million; 94 percent of which are addicted to shabu. Since its introduction; majority of Filipino drug users shifted from poly- to mono-users (i.e.; shabu only); but users are slowly shifting back to poly-use because the aggressive antidrug campaign of the government has driven shabu prices up and made it less accessible. Statistics by the Philippine National Police show that 65–75 percent of heinous crimes are drug-related. In terms of illegal drugs seized; the Philippines ranks sixth among Asian nations.