News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Addiction rate soars in Mexico as cheap drugs proliferate

Drugs being kept out of U.S. end up in local hands

CHRIS HAWLEY

Published: 07.23.2008

AGUA PRIETA, Mexico - Carlos Antonio Lopez started using crack at age 11 to kill the pain of his mother's death.

"I started with marijuana, but after a while it didn't fill me up anymore," he says. "Then I started on crack. You get obsessed. You can't think about anything else."

Now 18, Lopez is in his sixth stint in rehab.

Not so long ago, stories like Lopez's were unusual in Mexico, where drug addiction had never been a widespread problem. These days, the country is dealing with an unprecedented epidemic of drug use that is partly a result of better U.S. border enforcement, experts say.

The new border fence and intensified patrols by both Mexican and U.S. federal agents have made it harder for Mexican cartels to get drugs into the U.S. As a result, more narcotics remain in Mexico where they are sold to local consumers, says Marcela Lopez Cabrera, director of the Monte Fenix clinic in Mexico City, which trains drug counselors.

The number of new patients at Mexican treatment centers has more than quadrupled since 2000. The health ministry has announced plans to build 300 new rehab centers, triple the current total, to deal with the overflow.

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