Early age of onset of drug use in Paraguayan children and adolescents: a public health challenge

Edad temprana de inicio de uso de drogas en niños y adolescentes paraguayos: un desafío de salud pública

  • Julio Torales Researcher and Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, School of Medical Sciences, Na-tional University of Asunción, San Lorenzo – Paraguay
  • Israel González Resident physician of Psychiatry, School of Medical Sciences, National University of Asunción, San Lorenzo – Paraguay
  • João Castaldelli-Maia Researcher and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo – Brazil
  • Marcela Waisman Researcher and Professor of Addictions, University of Salvador, Buenos Aires – Argentina
  • Antonio Ventriglio Researcher and Professor, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia – Italy

Resumen

La edad de inicio del consumo de drogas legales e ilegales es una variable crucial en el campo de la salud mental. Permite a clínicos y a investigadores de todo el mundo intentar predecir el riesgo vital de trastornos por uso de sustancias, enfermedad mental y adaptación social, y a diseñar estrategias de prevención e intervenciones precoces para hacer frente a estas entidades. El uso de drogas legales o ilegales durante la infancia y la adolescencia ha sido asociado a un vasto rango de malos resultados por distintos autores. El efecto del uso de sustancias al parecer incluye no sólo resultados relacionados con la salud, sino que posee también implicancias sociales negativas a largo plazo que afectan el sustento de los individuos. El inicio temprano del uso de drogas legales e ilegales es una epidemia social en Paraguay (Sudamérica). En este breve artículo, nuestro objetivo es presentar los pocos estudios realizados en el país que muestran una edad extremadamente temprana de inicio del consumo de drogas y proporcionar algunos argumentos sobre por qué estos datos deberían ser motivo de preocupación para los responsables de la formulación de políticas en el país.


Palabras clave: Edad de inicio; Uso de drogas; Niños; Adolescentes.


ABSTRACT


The age of onset of legal and illegal drugs use is a crucial variable in the mental health field. It enables clinicians and researchers across the world to try to predict the lifetime risk of substance use disorders, mental illness and social adaptation, and to tailor prevention strategies and early interventions to address these entities. The use of legal or illegal drugs during childhood and adolescence has been linked to a vast range of bad outcomes by different authors. The effect of substance use seems to include not only health-related issues, but it also has long-term negative social implications that affect the livelihood of the individuals. Early initiation of legal and illegal drug use is a social epidemic in Paraguay (South America). In this brief piece, we aim to present the few studies done in the country showing an extremely early age of onset of drug use and to provide some arguments for why this data should be of concern for policy makers in the country.


Keywords: Age of onset; Drug use; Children; Adolescents.

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Publicado
2018-08-02
##submission.howToCite##
TORALES, Julio et al. Early age of onset of drug use in Paraguayan children and adolescents: a public health challenge. Medicina Clínica y Social, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 2, p. 102-107, ago. 2018. ISSN 2521-2281. Disponible en: <http://medicinaclinicaysocial.org/index.php/MCS/article/view/56>. Fecha de acceso: 10 dic. 2018
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