Ma. Regina Hechanova


Ma. Regina M. Hechanova is Full Professor and former Chair of the Department of Psychology in Ateneo de Manila University. She was the past President of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) and is currently the head of the PAP Taskforce on Drug Recovery Support. Gina has a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Central Michigan University and obtained her M.A. in Psychology and B.S. degrees from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman. In 1996, she received the UP Chancellor’s Award for Most Outstanding Faculty in 1996. In 2005, Gina was also named Outstanding Young Scientist in 2005 by the National Academy of Science and Technology. In 2010, she was named one of the Ten Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service for her work as an organizational psychologist.

Developing Katatagan Kontra Droga sa Komunidad: A Community-Based Relapse Prevention Program

In July 2016, the Philippine government waged a “war” against illegal drugs. A consequence of this drive was the surrender of over 700,000 drug users and pushers. Results of preliminary assessment suggest that only 10 percent of drug users require in-house rehabilitation and majority could be treated at the community level. However, there was a lack of preparation and capability at the community level to provide drug recovery services.

This paper describes efforts by members of the Psychological Association of the Philippine Taskforce on Drug Recovery Support to develop an evidence-informed community-based drug recovery intervention. A needs analysis was first conducted among drug surrenderees and their families to inform the design of the intervention. Results suggest that although drug use has an economic component, it is primarily a psychosocial issue. Majority of users report adverse childhood experiences, strong peer influence, family dysfunctions, and poor coping skills. Based on these findings, a relapse prevention program was made using the CDC Map of Adaptation Process.

The Katatagan Kontra Droga sa Komunidad program consists of 12 modules for drug-users that focus on drug recovery skills including motivation to change, managing cravings, drug refusal skills etc. The intervention also includes three modules for families of drug users to educate them on how to best support their family member. This paper describes the steps taken in designing validating, writing and pilot-testing the modules.