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Inhalants in Peru.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
NIDA research monograph
Publication Date
Volume
148
Pages
191–204
Identifiers
PMID: 8929891
Source
Medline

Abstract

In Peru, the prevalence and consequences of inhalant abuse appear to be low in the general population and high among marginalized children. Inhalant use ranks third in lifetime prevalence after alcohol and tobacco. Most of the use appears to be infrequent. Among marginalized children, that is, children working in the streets but living at home or children living in the street, the problem of inhalant abuse is a serious problem. Among children working in the streets but living at home, the lifetime prevalence rate for inhalant abuse is high, ranging from 15 to 45 percent depending on the study being cited. For children living in the streets, the use of inhalant is even more severe. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, most of these street children use inhalants on a daily basis. The lack of research on the problem of inhalant abuse is a serious impediment to development of intervention programs and strategies to address this problem in Peru. Epidemiologic and ethnographic research on the nature and extent of inhalant abuse are obvious prerequisites to targeted treatment and preventive intervention programs. The urgent need for current and valid data is underscored by the unique vulnerability of the youthful population at risk and the undisputed harm that results from chronic abuse of inhalants. Nonetheless, it is important to mention several programs that work with street children. Some, such as the Information and Education Center for the Prevention of Drug Abuse, Generation, and Centro Integracion de Menores en Abandono have shelters where street children are offered transition to a less marginal lifestyle. Teams of street educators provide the children with practical solutions and gain their confidence, as well as offer them alternative socialization experiences to help them survive the streets and avoid the often repressive and counterproductive environments typical of many institutions. Most of the children who go through these programs tend to abandon inhalant use as they mature out of street life.

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