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Alcohol and Drug Consumption, Depressive Features, and Family Violence as Associated with Complaints to the Prosecutor's Office in Central Mexico

NCJ Number
Substance Use & Misuse: An International Interdisciplinary Forum Volume: 42 Issue: 10 Dated: September 2007 Pages: 1485-1504
Guillermina Natera Rey; Francisco Juarez Garcia; Maria Elena Medina-Mora Icaza; Marcela Tiburcio Sainz
Date Published
September 2007
20 pages
This study documented the link between violence and alcohol/drug use in Mexico.
Results confirmed the relationship between alcohol use, depression, and violence, reinforcing the need to prevent alcohol abuse especially among youth. The study demonstrates the need for health policies to train State Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) employees to orient the population towards sanctions and to encourage preventive measures regarding the acceptance of alcohol/drug consumption in the culture. The likelihood for violence and/or interaction at a State Prosecutor’s Office was higher for those living in an atmosphere of threats and injuries within the family, and for those that reported alcohol consumption on the day of the incident. The results of the study also imply that there is an urgent need for social policies oriented toward the prevention of family violence which has reached extremely high levels even among the general population. Timely intervention methods implemented at hospitals or by the SPO might serve to educate young people and empower them with skills to avoid violence associated with the over consumption of alcohol/drugs. The study data was collected from 1,358 subjects who formed the baseline from the general population (n=887), and from a population that was either arrested (n=129), filed a complaint (n=186), or was filed as a violent-related case (n=156). In 1996, a face-to-face questionnaire was administered to 18 to 65 year olds to obtain socio-demographic data regarding drug use and drinking patterns, symptoms of depression, and family violence. The data was collected in the city of Pachuca, Hidalgo, located 100 km from Mexico City, one of the regions with the highest rates of alcohol consumption as well as having one of the highest death rates from cirrhosis in the world. Individuals from 18 to 24 years of age displayed the highest number of legal complaints and arrests. Tables, glossary, references