Drug Abuse in the Global Village
Drug Abuse in the Americas

National Strategies in Central America

A National Drug Council (Consejo Nacional de Drogas, CONADRO) coordinates efforts to reduce drug abuse supply and demand. It aims to provide a coherent approach to research, control, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The Instituto sobre Alcoholismo y Farmacodependencia (IAFA) and CONADRO collaborate on a National Integration Plan on Drug Abuse (U.N. 1992; PAHO 1990).


The Commission Antinarcotrafficking (COAN) is responsible for coordinating efforts to reduce supply and demand for drugs. Its mandate is however, limited since the Ministry of Education, among other important key players, are not part of the commission (FUNDASALVA 1991).

            Legislation is used to control and prevent drug abuse. In 1991, a law regulating activities related to drugs (Ley Reguladora de las Actividades Relativas a las Drogas) was approved (FUNDASALVA 1991).

            Organizations specialized in supply control direct their efforts to detect cultivation, processing, distribution and transportation networks. They have the authority to apprehend criminals and seize shipments. Realizing that the control of supply has limitations, the Antidrug Foundation of El Salvador (FUNDASALVA) is used to enlist concerned Salvadorans to strengthen the efforts to combat drug abuse. The foundation develops prevention programmes to change attitudes relating to drug abuse. It also lobbies for the adoption of laws and governmental policies to prevent and control drug abuse (MEMORIA DE LABORES 1991).


The National Council Against Alcohol and Drugs (Consejo Nacional contra el Alcoholismo y Drogas) is in charge of coordinating programmes for drug addiction. Its members include government ministries and NGOs. It offers no services directly but focuses on coordination. Most services are offered by the private sector (CMO 1991).

            Government response consists of legislation regulating production and sale of psychotropic substances; however, lack of resources are reported to hamper effective enforcement. Medications are sold without prescription, except for narcotics and some psychotropic drugs which are subject to strict control (PAHO 1990).


Drug matters are dealt with by the Mental Health Division of the Ministry of Health, through the Honduran Institute for the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Drug Abuse (IHADFA) (PAHO 1990).

            The government has passed a declaration on Prevention and Control of Alcoholism, Drug Addiction and Pharmacodependency in order to fulfill the purposes established in the law on illicit abuse and traffic of drugs and psychotropic substances ("Ley Sobre el Uso Indebido y Trבfico Ilicito de Drogas y Substancias Psicotrףpicas") and the Law of the IHADFA (U.N. 1990).


The Attorney General coordinates inter-ministerial activities, and the Drug Control Planning Center (CENDRO) is responsible for the collection and processing of information on drug trafficking. The Office of the Attorney General is also responsible for air eradication, and the Ministry of Defence is responsible for the manual destruction of illicit crop fields. This activity occurs within the framework of a Comprehensive Interdiction System (SIIN), which was established in 1991. This system aims to abolish drug trafficking at the cultivation and production level. Law enforcement measures resulted in high levels of crop destruction, impoundments of psychotropic substances and narcotic drugs and arrests of drug traffickers (Mexican Efforts in Drug Control 1992; CMO 1990; Mexico 1992).

            Prevention and rehabilitation complement efforts to control the illicit supply of drugs. The "Consejo Nacional Contra Las Addiciones" (CONACID) coordinates drug demand reduction activities and is responsible for their evaluation at the public and private levels. Many of the demand reduction activities are implemented by agencies associated with the State Councils Against Addiction Care Programs (ADEFAR) (CMO 1990).


The Ministry of Health, the Social Security Fund and the Institute of Forensic Medicine lead the Government's response to drug abuse in the country (PAHO 1990).