Chilean bishops: drug addiction a challenge that must be unhesitatingly met

.- The executive committee of the Bishops’ Conference of Chile warned this week that the drama of drugs is “a great challenge that must be unhesitatingly met.”  The bishops called for compassionate solutions that reach out those most vulnerable, such as young adults and children.

During the opening of meeting of experts on drug addiction, the president of the bishops’ Conference, Bishop Alejandro Goic, read the document that calls for addressing the roots of the problem of drugs.

We must be, “for a life without drugs, for social relationships without dependencies, and for a social and communal discussion of the issue based on the central value of human dignity…or we will end up building more jails, not facing reality, and allowing easy answers for situations that are much more profound,” the bishops said in their statement.

They noted that many families see their young members constantly coming and going in search of drugs. “Often these people and their families come to our parishes for help in overcoming their additions.  The ‘perversion of drugs’ is carrying away especially our young people,” the bishops denounced.

They went on to express caution against simply employing “punitive measures” to stop drug use instead of developing policies that provide long-term solutions, such as centers of rehabilitation and detoxification.

“We call on the State, on private businesses, and on all of society to invest in boosting the resources aimed at the sectors with the greatest poverty, to improve the quality of education, to generate real channels of participation and to provide dignified and quality housing to our brothers and sisters,” the bishops said.

As the country prepares to celebrate its bicentennial, the bishops called for an end “to the scourge of drugs and the enormous breach of inequality which so dramatically affects so many of our brothers and sisters.”

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