AMERICA/ARGENTINA - Bishop of Moron warns against misleading information about drug use

Wednesday, 27 April 2022 drugs   drug trade   local churches   youth  

in terris

Moron (Agenzia Fides) - "As Bishop of Moron, I would like to address our entire community and publicly express my deep concern at statements that send a misleading message to young people about the serious consequences and irreparable harm of consumption, well proven by science of drugs for physical and mental health", said Monsignor Jorge Vázquez, Bishop of Moron and President of the Episcopal Commission for Life, the Laity and Family (CEVILAF).
The youth department of the community of Moron on the western outskirts of Buenos Aires distributed leaflets to youth during a music festival last weekend advising them to use drugs "slowly and calmly" "to see how the body reacts". The incident sparked heated controversy across the country. The municipality of Moron pointed out that the initiative is part of a local campaign "to reduce the risks and harm associated with the use of legal and illegal psychoactive substances" that was unanimously launched last year. This should protect the health of young drug users by providing them with useful information.
"I do not believe that a drug prevention campaign - without assessing it - can be carried out without emphasizing with absolute clarity the devastating effects that the use of these substances is having on young people and their families," said the Bishop of Moron, who added:
"As I have done on several occasions, I reiterate my support and closeness to so many people and institutions who are courageously and selflessly committed to the recovery of people struggling to overcome their addiction problems". Finally, Bishop Jorge Vázquez expresses his affection and special closeness "to so many mothers and fathers who are facing the terrible consequences of addiction and the impact it has on the lives of their children".
The Catholic Church in Argentina and the other Christian denominations have been complaining about the enormous spread of drugs for some time and point out that "drugs kill". With this in mind, we continue our work in support of those who fall victim to drug addiction. To those who see the solution in the legalization of drugs, the bishops counter that "the decriminalization of consumption, the legalization of substances, will only lead to more consumption and exclusion", which is why an emergency law to combat addiction is needed
(see Fides, 7/2/2022 ).
The Observatory of Social Inequality of the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) found that at the end of 2021, out of a sample of 5,680 families, around 23% confirmed the presence of drug dealers in their neighborhood. In the areas on the outskirts of the capital, this figure rises to 30%. UCA data show that drug trafficking and smuggling are more prevalent in the most vulnerable socio-economic sectors. The Observatory also denounced the lack of adequate action by the authorities in terms of control and prevention. As a result, "almost the only answers to the problem come from NGOs, churches, the media or private entities, but they are clearly insufficient to solve such a complex problem," the report says. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 27/4/2022)