May 11, Mr. Sebastian Pinera, President of the Republic of Chile, accompanied by Interior Minister, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, and the Executive Secretary of the National Narcotics Control Board (CONACE), Francisca Florenzano, chose Dianova’s San Bernardo Center, to announce Chile’s new prevention and treatment initiative to reduce alcohol and illegal drug use by 2014. During his speech, Mr. Pinera surrounded himself with mothers with their children, presently undergoing a treatment program at San Bernardo. View the event’s photos on Flickr
We do not want and we will not let people drink and drive. If you drink you must not drive. If you drive, you must not drink. We will take all necessary measures with great fordce and conviction” S. Piñera
Chile’s national drugs & alcohol enforcement strategy will act as a guideline for every policy which will be implemented for the next four years by the government. This strategy will address treatment and prevention jointly with the aim of reducing illegal drug use and the inappropriate use of alcohol in the general population, and more specifically among adolescents. Moreover, the strategy will help to prevent the number of drug and alcohol-related car accidents.
The Executive Secretary of CONACE, Mrs. Francisca Florenzano stressed that the new drug and alcohol national strategy was the result of a close collaboration between CONACE, other governmental bodies and civil society as a whole, through a public consultation conducted throughout 2010 on various issues related to drug and alcohol treatment and prevention.
Dianova’s San Bernardo therapeutic community addresses the needs of women presenting a problem of substance misuse or abuse, and living with their dependent children. The Dianova initiative is part of a larger set of programs designed by CONACE to provide vulnerable women with appropriate support and assistance. Treatment objectives consist of: individual self-esteem, self-care and self-reliance, renewal of family ties, renewal of mother-child ties, the development of supportive social networks and the reinforcement of protection factors, for the woman herself, her family and the community – all of this in order to achieve genuine social reintegration.
As regards illicit substances, the new strategy will allow for 2014 to:
– Reduce annual consumption of cannabis among school-aged population by 15%
– Reduce by 15% the annual prevalence of pasta base* consumption
– Reduce by 10% the annual prevalence of cocaine use among school-aged population
Mrs. Florenzano added that the inclusion of alcohol treatment objectives to the new strategy was raising new challenges for CONACE, in order to “avoid the problematic use of alcohol and the risks associated therewith, particularly in terms of car accidents, which is why we are committed to promoting a culture of safe alcohol use, coupled with strong administrative and legislative measures” (availability to underage population, decreasing the legal limit of blood alcohol content, etc.)
As regards alcohol, the new strategy will allow for 2014 to:
– Reduce annual consumption of alcohol among school-aged population by 15%
– Reduce by 15% the annual consumption of alcohol among the adult population
– Reduce by 20% alcohol-related car crashes in the general population
“The Chilean people will no longer accept that drug consumption rates, including cocaine and cannabis use, be the highest in all Latin America”
The strategy has two intervention areas: “Chile warns” and “Chile helps”. The first focus will be on children, adolescents and those in situation of greater vulnerability. This intervention area will be developed at school, at work and in the community. The second intervention area will address treatment and prevention strategies, with the implementation of an “integrated system” to better coordinate public and private healthcare networks, while prioritizing short-duration treatment interventions and early detection. Moreover, treatment component will be strengthened by additional initiatives dedicated to social reintegration, allowing the reinforcement of family ties, easier access to employment and to sustainable housing, among other aspects.