Drug Culture in Mexico

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Geography 303
7 November 2009
How the Drug Culture in Mexico Has Corrupted Its Youth The topic I have chosen to address is the drug culture in Mexico. I will aim to answer the question: how has the drug culture in Mexico corrupted its youth? The geography of Mexico has contributed greatly to it becoming a drug trafficking hot spot. Mexico is located in the middle of the world’s largest consumer and producer of cocaine. The United States is the world’s largest consumer of cocaine and Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine. Drug cartels have taken advantage of this location and control many different areas in Mexico. In Mexico the most powerful Cartels are based in the north. The reason for this is to establish control over points of entry to the United States, which as I have stated above is the world’s largest cocaine consumer. The most disturbing action of the cartels in recent history is their recruitment of youth. The new recruitment is a reaction to the arrests and killing of cartel members by Mexican officials under President Felipe Calderon. To explain how the drug culture in Mexico negatively impacts Mexican youth I will examine drug use among Mexican teens and possible causes of this drug use. I will examine some of the possible causes of drug use among Mexican teens including violence in the home and community and victimization.

Benjet, Corina, Borges, Guilherme, Medina-Mora, Maria Elena, Fleiz, Clara, Joaquin, Zambrano, Rojas, Estela and Ramirez, Miriam “Prevalence and Socio-Demographic Correlations of Drug Use Among Adolescents: Results from the Mexican Adolescent Mental Health Survey.” Society for the Study of Addiction Journal 102.8 (2007): 1261-1268. This article chronicles the “Mexican Adolescent Mental Health Survey” performed in 2005. The test subjects were youth ranging in age form 12-17 and who resided within Mexico City. The study found that there was an increased use of drugs among adolescents within the last ten years. The study also found that the age of consumption for marijuana and cocaine decreased over the same time period. “More than half of those who have used at some time in their life have continued to use in the previous 12 months, with a similar proportion of those continuing to use multiple types of drugs”(Benjet, Borges, Medina-Mora, Fleiz, Blanco, Zambrano, Rojas & Ramirez 1263). ‘Continued drug use’ is the especially disturbing portion of the statement. The article goes on to say that the most commonly used drugs include stimulants as well as marijuana. The study also states that teens with healthy environments, (an example of this would be active parents), had “64% less odds of drug use” (Benjet, Borges, Medina-Mora, Fleiz, Blanco, Zambrano, Rojas & Ramirez 1264). This statement reinforces that environment has a large part in drug prevention among Mexican youth. The study that was conducted was on a volunteer basis. The information in the study was also volunteered information that consisted of content concerning unlawful actions. The article admits that as a result of these circumstances the statistics provided “may lead to an underestimation in prevalence” (Benjet, Borges, Medina-Mora, Fleiz, Blanco, Zambrano, Rojas and Ramirez, 1266). This statement indicates that drug use by youth in Mexico may be higher than reported in this study. This indicates that it may be a larger problem and deserves even more attention than is already allocated towards the problem. Booth, William and Fainaru, Steve. “In Mexico, Fears of a Lost Generation.” Washington Post. 3 November 2009, A6.

This article examines a new era in Mexican drug cartels. The cartels are now recruiting Mexican youth into service more than ever before. The jobs that the youth are expected to perform range from drug trafficking to contracted killings. “In the past year, 134 minors have been killed in drug related violence in Juarez, according to El Diario, a...
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