Drug Abuse in the Global Village
Drug Abuse in the Americas

Costs and Consequences of Drug Abuse in Central America

In 1992, there has been an increase in criminal behavior, family disruption, road accidents, disruptions in school, violence and mortality attributed to drug abuse (U.N. 1992).

            There is a total of 117 cases of HIV infection, with 9 new cases reported in 1992. Two percent of the new cases are attributed to IVDU. One new case of IDVU attributed HIV was reported in 1992 (U.N. 1992).

            Fifteen cases of drug-related deaths were reported in the first semester of 1991 (U.N. 1992).


Until 1990, there were 32 cases of AIDS detected, 2 associated with IDVU (PAHO 1990).


Youth who abuse drugs report legal and family problems. Some had minor accidents while there were also few cases of serious/fatal drug abuse related accidents (U.N. 1991).

            Until august 1992, 300 cases of AIDS were reported. IVDUs contribution to AIDS could not be assessed (CMO 1991).

            In 1988, there was a total of 1765 drug related deaths; 1429 male and 336 female. Alcohol was reported as the main cause of death (CICAD 1993).


Drug related problems ranked ninth as a discharge diagnosis from psychiatric hospitals in 1984 and 1985 (PAHO 1990).


UNDCP key informants survey report drug abuse has been related social problems, family disintegration, suicide (in 1990-1991, 8-10 per cent of suicides were drug related) and traffic accidents (U.N. 1991).

            In 1991, 5.8 per cent of the patients hospitalized for psychiatric reasons were pharmacodependents and 0.8 per cent presented symptoms of toxic psychosis. Most cases of pharmacodependents (53 per cent) were between the ages of 16-20, and 20 per cent were between the ages of 21-30. Tranquilizers were reported the most frequently abused drug among the hospitalized patients (U.N. 1991).


Until March 1988, out of 47 AIDS cases known, 6 were associated with IVDU (PAHO 1990).