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Acapulco Is 12th in Nation for Drug Use

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 29 April, 2011

(Acapulco, ElSur 29 April) Raul Sánchez Aguilar, director of the Center for Youth Integration (CIJ), informs that Acapulco is in 12th place among Mexican cities for the consumption of illegal drugs and for number of addicts. Cancun is first in all Mexico.

The CIJ works to help rehabilitate drug addicts throughout Mexico. In Acapulco they are treating 93 addicts. So far this year they have provided drug counseling to 7,000 youths. Sánchez Aguilar reports that the consumption of these substances does not appear to be rising, but the age when drug use starts has dropped to 12 years, when children commence with tobacco and alcohol abuse. Others start by sniffing paint thinner. Many, but by no means all of them, are “street urchins” who are abandoned and homeless.

The CIJ also provides counseling to parents about how to protect their children from drugs, including cocaine and marijuana. Marijuana use in Acapulco is declining according to Sánchez Aguilar, but cocaine in crystal form is on the rise.

The founder of the CIJ, Kena Moreno, added that research performed in 2010 shows that 46.8% of all Acapulco’s teens (between 15 and 19 years of age) use some form of illegal drug: cocaine, crack, marijuana, alcohol or tobacco. More shocking is the statistic that 36.6% of children between ages 10 and 14 are engaged in illegal drug use. That is more than one-third of Acapulco’s youth between 10 and 14.

According to the research report, of those teens who admit using some form of illegal substance, 89.4% say they use alcohol and tobacco. Of the same group, 64.3% say they use cocaine, as compared with the national average of 44.6%. Crack use was admitted among 34.9% of them, in comparison with the national average of 28.4%. The survey also included the use of pills, like tranquilizers and sedatives.

The CIJ gives many drug prevention talks in the elementary and secondary schools and tries to educate parents in the poorer neighborhoods about the risks and signs of drug use by the very young. The organization relies on the contribution of 7,000 volunteers.