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Angela Garcia goes at providing more information regarding Hispanic addicts in the U.S. And their personal experiences. She relates to how New Mexico treatment facilities deal with numerous cases of addicts who experience overdose several times in their lives, are unable to defeat addiction, and eventually experience death. These individuals are in a condition where they accept their situation and believe that there is nothing that can be done for them. To a certain degree, however, it appears that Hispanics reacted differently to heroin when compared to other racial groups in the U.S. Many Hispanics in New Mexico apparently use heroin as a means to compensate for how they feel as a result of "then recurring pains associated with the ongoing history of loss and displacement that had come to characterize Hispano life" (Garcia 2008:720). Such patients are considered to suffer from a chronic addiction and they are generally believed to have little to no chances of recovery (Garcia 2008:720).
When considering Heggenhougen's assessment of alternative treatment techniques for addicts, one is likely to reach the conclusion that treatment centers in New Mexico fail in their attempt to heal patients because individuals are provided with standard treatment methods. Accepting the fact that an individual has no chances to recover from his or her addiction makes it less problematic for a treatment facility to be hesitant about trying alternative treatment techniques, especially considering that it is generally accepted that conventional treatment methods cannot possibly generate positive results in healing patients.
The effects of socio-economic conditions on drug-related affairs
The transition that Ciudad Juarez experienced from being a successful city to being a drug trafficking center certainly seems surprising at a first glance. However, if one were to address the complexity of this matter, it would be less shocking to learn that the city's economic problems significantly contributed to it being provided with less attention by the authorities and to people leaving it in large numbers. Ciudad Juarez almost turned into a favela as people within its borders became poorer and as drug lords expanded their businesses on its streets.
The fact that people were initially drawn to Ciudad Juarez in hope that they would increase their finances was very important in having the city experience notable problems in managing itself. Its rapid growth had become problematic by the time that the maquiladora industries present there started to close their facilities and leave people with virtually no chances of surviving. With the economy experiencing an all-time low, drug dealers were provided with the perfect opportunity to impose their power over the people of Ciudad Juarez. The authorities started to express lesser interest in investing in the area and conditions generally worsened as drugs became one of the principal means of sustenance that the city had to offer. Individuals who had nowhere to return to had no solution other than to join the drug business, especially given that drug lords created a whole new industry meant to replace the old one.
Penglase's article further reinforces the concept regarding how socio-economic conditions support drug-trafficking through relating to the influence that drug lords have over people in favelas. Considering that there is virtually nothing to protect them from falling victim to drug dealers, individuals in favelas have no solution other than to support criminals in an attempt to ensure their personal safety. Authorities practically encourage drug dealers in expanding their businesses and support ordinary citizens in accepting the presence of drugs in their communities through providing them with little to no assistance. Favelas virtually turn into drug centers as drugs dealers are no longer penalized as long as they stay within the borders of their community and as long as people who are not involved in drug-related affairs express approval regarding illegal substances being sold and used in their presence.
All things considered, society's leaders appear to be largely responsible for discriminating against minorities and people belonging to the lower classes. Gilliam assists this belief through highlighting society's position in regard to African-Americans and Hispanics in the U.S. It appears that officials would rather isolate their own problems through blaming individuals who are generally unable to protect themselves. When conditions become critical, they simply ignore groups who suffer as a consequence of the drug problem. Even though most people are aware of the fact that the authorities are, to a certain degree, able to get actively engaged in fighting drugs and in saving people who are currently caught in the line of fire, no one expresses any interest in the issue. It appears that society prefers to ignore its problems through accusing the lower classes for the fact that governments are incompetent.
1. Dannemiller, K. "Juarochos: Fleeing Ciudad Juarez." Visual Anthropology Review: 2010.
2. Garcia, A. "The Elegiac Addict: History, Chronicity, and the Melancholic Subject." 2008.
3. Gilliam, Angela 1992 "Toward a New Direction in the Media "War" Against Drugs." Transforming Anthropology 3 (1): 19-23.
4. Heggenhougen, H.K. 1984 "TRADITIONAL MEDICINE AND THE TREATMENT OF DRUG ADDICTS: THREE EXAMPLES FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA." Medical Anthropology…[continue]
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