Not all green is life! Rights of children and adolescents

Children and adolescents have the right to be protected from the use of legal and illegal drugs and from their use for and for their trafficking, understanding that they are the ones who will determine the growth, development and transcendence of future generations, of society and humanity; but their own characteristics keep them in a constant situation of vulnerability, hence the need to ensure the full exercise of their rights.

Governments have a duty to take all necessary measures to protect them from drug use and to prevent their use in drug production and trafficking. Thus, Mexican regulations establish that they have the right to enjoy the highest possible level of health, to receive free medical care, as well as to establish mechanisms for the prevention, treatment, care, combat and rehabilitation of public health problems, caused by addictions.

“Hard drugs” are those that cause physical and psychosocial dependence, and “soft” those that create less dependence. Some authors such as Pablo Rossi confirm that they are all basically poison, seriously affecting those who take drugs, so that they do not learn, do not produce, do not behave civilized, do not support, do not respect or recognize limitations and are often unable to leave.autonomous of its dependence.

Some health agencies state that these users often experience panic attacks, hallucinations and seizures, which increases the chances of more serious consequences such as memory problems, anxiety, depression, lung, liver, kidney, heart or changes in his motor skills, even death from overdose.

The legalization of “soft drugs” is intensively debated, raising the possibility of their being regulated at the same level as tobacco and alcohol, where various studies present aspects in favor, mainly arguing for their medicinal or therapeutic properties, as well as the individual freedom to consume while the points against support their position from the right to health and the duty of the state to protect it when the consequences of its consumption without a doctor’s prescription cause the above effects.

Despite the relevance of the topic, Mexico does not have updated official data, since the last ENA was carried out in 2011 and Encodat in 2016, which limits the possibility to measure the current situation on the topic; however, institutions such as Ficosec and the Citizens’ Observatory carry out studies on the prevalence of addictions, finding that people who show addiction started consuming before the age of 17; This aspect coincides with publications that confirm that in some contexts it is observed that at least every hour a minor between the ages of 12 and 17 is arrested, mainly for drug trafficking (Vargas, 2019).

This is extremely alarming, since in Mexico the population from 0 to 17 years is almost 40 million people, and according to UNICEF, 51% live in conditions of poverty or extreme poverty, thus becoming a group in a situation of high vulnerability, in In addition, Conadic confirms that 50% of soft drug users are minors, since the presence of these substances favors that the beginning of their consumption is increasingly young, whose first contact is estimated to be from the age of 11, in addition institutions such as FGEs confirm that the greater the drug consumption, the greater the crime rates.

There is limited access to professional addiction treatment in this country, for example, as of 2018 there were only 43 public rehabilitation centers nationally, although approximately 2,300 private centers were estimated to exist. , of which only 16% are registered with the health authorities and 12% have complied with government regulations, not to mention that the cost of private treatment is very high, so those who live in conditions of poverty and extreme poverty, only they can enter known low-cost centers such as outhouses or farms, which generally operate outside the law, without official oversight.

From this reality, the legalization of drugs poses a great risk to children and adolescents, given their high vulnerability, since there are no adequate security, protection and rehabilitation conditions to guarantee their human rights. It is essential to address the priority issues surrounding the topic before considering the possibility of legalizing them, especially if the present and future of society are at stake, because as we see… Not everything green is life!

Rosa Isabel Medina Para

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