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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

versión impresa ISSN 0864-3466versión On-line ISSN 1561-3127


GONZALEZ MENENDEZ, Ricardo. Message to community activists on the global social impact of the illegal use of drugs. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [online]. 2010, vol.36, n.1, pp.165-184. ISSN 0864-3466.

With a language intended to be accessible to non-medical decision-makers of Latin America, including some concepts aimed at specialists in the field, this paper sets forth some knowledge, reflections and arguments to support the efforts of experts at national and regional levels in order to make the communities sensitize to the medical-social and ethical-humanist aspects of the illegal use of drugs as well as to the importance of the comprehensive, multidisciplinary and multistate approach to this problem. Recent world statistical data as well as predictions of great tragedies for addicts, subjects under influence of drugs and relatives who live with them allow inferring the tragic effect - from different viewpoints- of drugs for one third of the world population, taking just the "non-nicotinic" drugs into account. This paper also made reflections on certain mechanisms and on some non-visible clinical and epidemiological categories and expressions that make even bigger the iceberg of problems associated to the use, ill-use, abuse of and dependence on psychoactive substances. Finally, it addressed the negative ethical-deontological, axiological, humanist and legal significance of the so-called "prefrontal beheading" determined by substances, as well as its underlying molecular and neurophysiopathological mechanisms, and the catastrophic degrading effects on spirituality. The latter is a human condition defined as the set of virtues originating from the capacity of a human being to take the other people´s needs as if they were its own needs; according to the author, this is the essence of human sensitivity, compassion, potentialities for involvement, vocation for service, accountability, spirit of sacrifice, heroism and solidarity.

Palabras clave : Drugs, global social impact; ethical-legal significance.

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