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Rehabilitación obligatoria en América Latina: Un poco ético, práctica inhumana e ineficaz :: Drogas México
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Rehabilitación obligatoria en América Latina: Un poco ético, práctica
Política de drogas: Lecciones para México


Compulsory rehabilitation in Latin America: An unethical , inhumane and ineffective practice Introduction Forcing people who use drugs intocompulsory drug treatment program mes has been a common policy response globally. In 1935, the US Bureau of Prisons and Public Health Service set up its first...
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Rehabilitación obligatoria en América Latina: Un poco ético, práctica inhumana e ineficaz

International Drug Policy Consortium IDPC

Sábado 1 de febrero de 2014 (17/02/14)
International Drug Policy Consortium IDPC ver en dl.dropboxusercontent.com

Compulsory rehabilitation in Latin America: An unethical , inhumane and ineffective practice




Introduction

Forcing people who use drugs intocompulsory drug treatment program mes has been a common policy response globally. In 1935, the US Bureau of Prisons and Public Health Service set up its first compulsory drug treatment centre in Lexington,Kentucky. While many countries around the world havenow replaced compulsory drug treatment centres with community-based and voluntary systems, forcing people into compulsory rehabilitation centres remains common in South and South East Asia. In other regions, such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, compulsory rehabilitation has also been reported,although to a lesser extent.

Today despite a recent call by various United Nations (UN) bodies to immediately stop all forms of compulsory drug detention centres,1 several countries in Latin America, including Brazil,2Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Uruguay and Mexico, use some form of compulsory rehabilitation or are considering adopting such an approach.

Increasingly, Latin American countries are pushing for drug consumption to be treated as a public health, not a criminal, issue. Yet, access to evidence-based treatment programmes remains woefully inadequate across the hemisphere and forcing people toundergo rehabilitation–often in therapeutic communities that use religion rather than science to “treat” drug dependency–is disturbingly common. In Guatemala, for example,police for “hunting parties” made up of detainees in evangelical treatment centres routinely pick up people who use drugs (whether they are dependent or not) and turn them over to compulsory rehabilitation centres.3 In Mexico, where carrying very small amounts of drugs for personal use is decriminalised, if aperson is caught more than twice with the permitted amount, they can be sent into compulsoryrehabilitation programmes.4 In Peru and Ecuador, those deemed drug dependent are involuntarily interned,or placed by their families in locked wards or religious “rehabilitation” centres

In the face of these developments, this advocacy note aims to discuss the ethics and effectiveness of this approach and addresses the question: can forcing a person who uses drugs to undergo treatment be justified?

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