Methamphetamines, Substance Abuse Focus Of Attention

Latin America World

 “Char” for Borderland Beat 

This article was translated and reposted from RIODOCE

JULY 4, 2024

In 2023, 179,342 cases of care for substance use were registered, of which 49.1 percent were for methamphetamine use, 21.8 percent for alcohol use, 13.3 percent for marijuana use and 6.8 percent for cocaine use.

In the framework of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, celebrated on June 26, the head of the National Commission of Mental Health and Addictions (Conasama), Juan Manuel Quijada Gaytán, said that “Health policy is focused on the prevention of substance use, to build a path of wellbeing and peace”.

“We do not want to repeat the war on drugs, but rather see substance consumption as a health problem. It is important and the fight against demand is recognized; however, by fighting against addictions from the Health sector and in coordination with society, we will achieve a better future for Mexico and worldwide, added the head of Conasama.

Fentanyl use on the rise

Fentanyl consumption is growing steadily, especially in northern border cities. Nadia Robles Soto, director of the Mexican Observatory of Mental Health and Addictions of Conasama, said that last year 518 people received attention for this reason.

In addition, in this part of the border they identified a veterinary drug called xylazine as an adulterant in 25 residues of heroin and 26 of fentanyl, so they issued an alert to health personnel and first responders.

In the face of increased consumption, the focus is on prevention

The National Addiction Prevention Strategy (ENPA) “Together for Peace” promotes the healthy development of children and adolescents, strengthens community empowerment and provides effective prevention and mental health promotion tools.

Scientific evidence justifies prevention as the solid base in the fight against drug use. Prevention must be accompanied by attention, decriminalization, regulation and reconstruction of the social fabric.

“The outlook for drug use shows an upward trend. In a decade, the number of people who have ever used drugs has increased by 20 percent. This situation demands to continue with concrete and effective actions, and to address the issue from a comprehensive approach, addressing the root causes that generate the consumption and addiction of psychoactive substances,” concluded Stacy de la Torre, representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Article published on June 30, 2024 in the 1118th edition of the weekly Ríodoce.