Join us   Log in  

FRONTIERS IN MEDICAL CASE REPORTS - Volume 3; Issue 2, (Mar-Apr, 2022)

Pages: 1-09
Print Article   Download XML  Download PDF

The Teenager and The Drugs in The Municipality of Guadalajara, Jalisco, México

Author: María A. Valle-Barbosa, Armando Muñoz-de la Torre, José R. Robles-Bañuelos

Category: Health Care


Introduction: Drug abuse in young people is a public health problem worldwide. In Mexico it is also a social problem. Methodology: Descriptive, cross-sectional study, the sample was random. A survey and Excel base analysis were used. Objective: Identify knowledge and consumption of drugs in adolescents of basic secondary education. Discussion: Schoolchildren in Mexico have extensive knowledge about drugs, as in other countries in the world. Marijuana is mostly consumed, followed by cocaine, the main factors that led to consumption were problems, friends, curiosity, depression and combinations of these factors. Men are the biggest consumers, starting at 13 years of age. Consumers report that it is not a major problem, but not in all schools. More and more scientific papers are warning about the progressive normalization of the consumption of illicit substances among young people.

Keywords: Cannabis, Hallucinogens, Cocaine, Media, Nuclear Family


Full Text:


Students at the primary level of education, when they are in their teens, are in particular danger of being induced to use drugs, which is why it is important to carry out studies in this regard. Aside from, publicizing how harmful narcotics are. This theme was chosen because despite so many intervention programs by health intuitions and civil associations against addictions, drug use and abuse have exceeded the capacity of these institutions and associations.

Recently, through different media and the results of scientific studies, the increase in drug use and abuse among young people has been reported at the international and national levels, generating a public health problem. Intervention programs have not achieved the expected result, which is to reduce consumption, since adolescents who start using drugs believe that it is not a problem (Martínez et al., 2008; Gamboa and Portilla, 2018; Coello and Hernández, 2018).

Drugs are natural or synthetic substances that, after being ingested, are likely to cause and develop psychological, physical (organic) and emotional changes exponentially, finding death as one of their possible results. Although their use was originally related to medical and therapeutic purposes, they are currently used more for recreational purposes, thus causing uncontrolled consumption of different narcotics (Dominguez Estrada et al., 2019).

From the perspective of Public Health, the phenomenon of drugs recognizes differences between drugs and their risks; This vision allows us to analyze the consumption of substances and their variations in frequency and quantity, as a risk factor for suffering injuries or their dependence as a disease (Medina-Mora et al., 2013).

The phenomenon of drug trafficking began to gain strength at the beginning of the 20th century, when the prohibition of the cultivation and sale of marijuana was enacted (1920), and by 1926 the plant was known as opium poppy. This i show the contraventions for the illegal operation of cocaine and some opiates continue (Astorga, 1997).

The consumption of illegal substances represents one of the main problems worldwide, not only because of its implications for public health, but also because of its repercussions on violence and crime. In Mexico, from the Epidemiological Surveillance System for Addictions, they reported that the first illegal drug with which they began consumption was marijuana (19.9%), while 5.2% were inhalants, since the age of initiation of consumption of substances in this population was 13.6 years of age (Cauich et al., 2018).

In recent decades, the use and abuse of drugs such as alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and crack has increased. At international levels, the consumption of hashish and marijuana has increased in the young population between 15 and 30 years of age, reaching up to 30%, more specifically, among the school population of 15 and 16 years of age, consumption rates are between 30 and 44%; Spain, the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic and Ireland are the countries where the consumption rate is the highest (Herrera Batista et al., 2014).

In Mexico, drug use is a public health problem, particularly in the adolescent population, the national council against addictions stated that the average age is around 13.7 years (De La Barrera, 2012). It seriously affects most nations, in 2011 the use of illegal drugs doubled, in the previous decade consumption was 0.8 and reached 1.5 percent among people between 12 and 65 years of age (Sánchez-Sosa et al., 2014).

The importance of the study of drugs in schoolchildren lies in its usefulness for the creation of preventive strategies, it is an accessible population, which is why it represents a challenge for the health sector. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called "skills for life" "those skills that allow adolescents to acquire the skills necessary for their personal development and to effectively face the challenges of daily life" and the divided into three categories: social, cognitive and emotional. These skills have proven to be effective in preventing drug use and violence, among others (De La Barrera, 2012).

Drugs in their different manifestations have invaded our environment, a multifactorial phenomenon that motivates their consumption and dependence, affects all population groups, with serious implications for Public Health. In addition, drugs have an impact on economic and social development, increase health care costs by being associated with injuries and infectious, cardiovascular, and mental illnesses, among others. Similarly, violence is associated with organized crime, with criminal activities linked to the acquisition and distribution of drugs on the illegal market or induced by intoxication with psychoactive substances (Medina-Mora et al., 2013).

Drug use in young people begins around the age of 16, this is why it is transcendental to study the world of drugs.

In adolescents, because it is a stage of special risk, whose evidence shows that 65% of users start before the age of 16. 17 years old (Martínez et al., 2008; Gamboa and Portilla, 2018; Coello and Hernández, 2018; Medina-Mora et al., 2013).

Drug trafficking and violence in Mexico have become a national emergency problem in recent years (Dávila, 2011), it is a phenomenon that occurs within schools with increasing frequency and spreads significantly among peer groups, so that if a student consumes them, he is likely to encourage it among his peers. Therefore, it seems clear that the school must become increasingly involved in the prevention and care of the problem (Aguilera et al., 2007).

The importance of studying the adolescent lies in the fact that it is the third stage of life that every human being goes through, it is here that they transform and acquire mental, moral and social maturity, elements with which they will face the future and make decisions. It is a time of rapid changes and multiple new experiences, among which is, generally, the consumption of substances, at the beginning they were legal (tobacco, alcohol), and later illegal (González and Ibarra, 2018).

In addition, the population increase of people under 25 years of age adheres, the problem worsens when many of these adolescents grow up immersed in poverty, vulnerable to dangers and suffering (Figueroa Verdecia et al., 2018).

The present work is approached from a social and Public Health approach, where drugs are conceived as prohibited substances, harmful to health, which are abused and lead to individual and social damage. The term consumption of drugs or harmful substances is the generic name that has been found in the literature to refer to the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, other drugs and drugs (Aguilera et al., 2007).

Due to the above, the need was expressed to implement strategies to detect cases in schools, in order to offer care services in the educational institutions themselves without the adolescent being suspended or expelled (Coello and Hernández, 2018).


Descriptive and cross-sectional study in the period between September 2018 and May 2019, in students from public secondary schools in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The sample was random and two schools were considered in both shifts. The aim was to identify the most popular types of drugs among students and the incidence of their consumption, as well as their motivations and the most frequent age of onset.

To obtain information, we adhere to the Regulations of the General Health Law on Research for Health, Art. 17 part I of Title Two, Chapter I:

The research is considered without risk: These are studies that use retrospective documentary research techniques and methods and those in which no intentional intervention or modification is made in the physiological, psychological and social variables of the individuals participating in the study, among the that are considered: questionnaires, interviews, review of clinical records and others, in which they are not identified or sensitive aspects of their conduct are not addressed.

For this reason, the informed consent of this research with minimal risk was obtained from a signature, with the commitment of confidentiality and anonymity of the participants. Likewise, it was applied under the supervision of a teacher.

The survey method was used to obtain the necessary information and respond to the objective of the study. The final sample consisted of 251 subjects, 53% men and 47% women. The mean age was 13 years, with a range of 10 to 17 years.

The objective of this article is to know the opinion of the participants about drugs, and to know if they have consumed any type of drug. Data analysis: the statistical procedures performed to identify frequencies and percentages to describe the results were performed on an Excel basis of variables, EPI Info for Windows was used.


The use of drugs is a public health problem in Mexico, this has been demonstrated through recent studies on the behavior of drug use among young people at younger ages, and the increase in women to this practice. The context of drug use is associated with complex consequences at the individual, family and social levels, which represents a challenge in terms of prevention and timely comprehensive care.

Therefore, the problem of drug use can be studied from different approaches, however, the authors approached it from Public Health, which allowed us to define this phenomenon as a social and health problem.

The sample studied was made up of a total of 251 students, of whom 133 were men and 118 women, 151 from the morning shift and 100 from the evening shift. The following results were obtained (Table 1-2).

Table 1: Descriptive values of the sample by school grade.

Source: Own elaboration.

Table 2: Frequency distribution of drugs known to adolescents in public high schools in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, Jal, Mexico.

Source: Own elaboration.

1Crack is a form of cocaine that places you in a very fast and intense way (the fast and intense "high"). Crack is made by cooking cocaine powder with baking soda and then breaking it into small pieces called stones.

The drugs best known by the students were marijuana and cocaine, leaving inhalants in last place. Of the 251 schoolchildren, 18 agreed to be consumers at the time of the study.

Regarding the question about the cause of consumption: 41.83% agreed to blame their problems, 21.53% related it to friends, 19.52% reported curiosity as the main motivator and only 9.56% recognized depression as the cause, the remaining 7.56% reported combinations of these factors (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: Percentage of responses to the question, "What do you think motivated drug use?" from participating high school students (Source: Own elaboration).

38 students admitted having used psychoactive drugs, 20 male and 18 female.

The majority of students who currently consume some type of drug were concentrated in the second grade of secondary school, followed by the third grade. The first degree is where it is consumed the least.

The average age of consumers is around 13 years of a total of 38 users, 52.63% are men and 47.36% women, in the morning shift the majority of those who recognized being users are women with 39.47% of the total number of users. consumers, and in the evening men stand out.

The results of the study show that drug use begins at an increasingly younger age and is not exclusive to any gender or social situation.


The results of the study demonstrate the extensive knowledge that adolescents have about drugs. They pointed to marijuana and cocaine as the best known. However, they admitted having knowledge of various types of drugs. This result is consistent with the results of a study, which in a sample of 384 adolescents indicated greater knowledge of cocaine, and then marijuana, among others (Bielma et al., 2006).

According to the results in the reviewed literature and those of our study, it is clear that the consumption of narcotics among adolescents is becoming more common. In the sample studied, regarding consumption by gender, it was detected that consumption prevails in men at a general level, it is striking that in the morning shift women accept greater consumption, while in the evening it is men (Bautista, 2020). Similar results were identified in a sample studied in El Salvador, where men are also higher consumers (Campos et al., 2019). It is noted that this practice is not exclusive to men, since it has also become common in women. Despite their extensive knowledge about cocaine, marijuana is the most consumed among adolescents, as is the case in Guadalajara, which coincides with international studies that show a higher prevalence in men with respect to drug use. These statements can be verified with the responses of the participants in the questionnaire applied to the sample of adolescents in Guadalajara, where marijuana is the drug most accessed by adolescents in Mexico, however, the consumption of cocaine has increased (3% during the period from 1993 to 1998), while 50% of crack users are under 18 years of age, which is consistent with our results (Devia et al., 2019).

Another contribution of this study is to confirm that the consumption of narcotics occurs in both male and female adolescents, supporting the results of previous research.

In addition, the reason that led adolescents to use and abuse substances was addressed, where the majority agreed to blame their problems, followed by friends, curiosity, depression, among other factors. In other studies, curiosity, friends and, finally, family problems and depression prevailed (Romero, 2019). Another of the prevalent factors is imitation, as mentioned (González and Ibarra, 2018), since there is a large number of adolescents who copy the act of experimenting with any drug.

On the other hand, Devia, et al. (2019) in the study carried out in Colimba, found that the majority consume to "relax, feel good, avoid reality, justify absences" and social reasons, were included under the category "seeking partners, confidants”. The three categories were permeated by an articulating element: "the loneliness of the student"

This practice has become so popular among adolescents that men and women become consumers at younger and younger ages, before it is agreed that friends become the favorable environment for addictions (Larrosa and Palomo, 2010). Regarding age, our study identified 13 years as the average age of initiation of consumption, similar results appear in other investigations, where consumers of 8 years of age were detected, when the average age of initiation of consumption had been identified between 13 and 14 years old (De La Barrera, 2012).

Likewise, Devia, et al. (2019) found that the majority had their first contact with drugs at 13 years of age, being more frequent in males. For their part, they showed that consumption in men exceeds that of women by a third and obtained an average age of onset of 18 years. In general terms, the onset of drug use occurs between 13 and 14 years of age, results similar to those of our study.

It is clear that drug use in adolescents occurs at increasingly younger ages, as confirmed by the sample studied, where the youngest consumer was 13 years old, while in other countries such as Ecuador the average age of initiation was 14 years.


The majority of students who agreed to consume any harmful substance denied that it was a serious health problem, although this was not the case in all schools. This is why more and more research works are warning about the progressive normalization of the consumption of harmful substances among young people. Alcohol, psychotropic drugs and cannabis, mainly, are part of the recreational environment of many adolescents, constituting great concern today, even more so with the introduction of cocaine and synthetic drugs, which have been shown to cause more damage to health and result in even more addictive.

In most studies carried out in Mexico and other countries, the existence of both legal and illegal drug use among adolescents is confirmed, becoming a universal practice that is related to multiple aspects of daily life.

Drug use among adolescents is a current problem, which despite the intervention programs implemented by different government agencies has not been resolved, which is why it is necessary to develop new short- and long-term prevention strategies, which include the active participation of parents and teachers, in addition to offering a treatment alternative for those adolescents who have started using drugs.

Crack is a form of cocaine that places you in a very fast and intense way (the fast and intense "high"). Crack is made by cooking cocaine powder with baking soda and then breaking it into small pieces called stones.


Aguilera MA, Muñoz G, Orozco A. Disciplina, violencia y consumo de sustancias nocivas a la salud en escuelas primarias y secundarias de México. Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación (INEE) 2007; p: 17-22.

Astorga L. Los corridos de traficantes de drogas en México y Colombia. Revista mexicana de sociología 1997: 245-261.

Bautista P. Consumo de drogas en alumnos de centros escolares en San Salvador, el salvador. Revista Electrónica de Investigación y Docencia REIID 2020; 23: 47-64.

Bielma JE, Macías LR, del Barrio LI, Gallo MD, Maldonado RO, Tavares MM. Conocimiento de los estudiantes de secundaria sobre los tipos de drogas que se consumen en su medio. Rev Colomb Psicol 2006; 15: 51-55.

Campos CT, Ramos D, Loureiro RJ, de Oliveira YA. Uso de drogas ilícitas por estudantes adolescentes: uma revisão narrativa/Illicit drug use by adolescent students: a narrative review. Arquivos Médicos dos Hospitais e da Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo 2019; 64: 237-243.

Cauich JI, Heredia BN, García FM. Marihuana y drogas ilícitas en jóvenes mexicanos Factores de riesgo y protección asociados a la edad de inicio del consumo. Revista Iberoamericana de Psicología 2018; 11: 1-10.

Coello CH and Hernández SH. Caracterización del conocimiento y consumo de drogas de abuso por adolescentes. Policlínico José Martí, Santiago de Cuba. Convención Internacional de Salud, Cuba Salud 2018.

Dávila CJ. Música y narcotráfico en México. Una aproximación a los narcocorridos desde la noción de mediador. Revista Athenea 2011; 27: 97-110.

De La Barrera CP. Habilidades para la vida y consumo de drogas en adolescentes escolarizados mexicanos. Revista adicciones 2012; 24: 153-160.

Devia FL, Obando LE, Bedoya C A, López S, Salazar SJ, Duque SF, & Muñoz AN. Motivos que inducen al consumo de marihuana en estudiantes universitarios, como fundamento para el cuidado enfermero. Cuaderno De Investigaciones: Semilleros Andina 2019; 12: 76-85.

Dominguez Estrada FJ, Simón Hernández JA, Minor Granados MO. TEPEXI Boletín científico de la escuela superior de Tepeji del Rio. 2019; 12: 66-71.

Figueroa Verdecia DV, Navarro Sánchez Y, Romero Guzmán FA. Situación actual de la adolescencia y sus principales desafíos. Gaceta Médica Espirituana 2018; 20: 98-105.

Gamboa AB and Portilla RC. El consumo de drogas como sostén narcisista en la adolescencia. Rev Latinoam Psicopat Fund 2018; 21: 715-738.

González FC and Ibarra LE. Estudio transversal sobre consumo de sustancias psicoactivas y prevalencia de trastornos en adolescentes escolarizados. Drugs and Addictive Behavior (histórico) 2018; 3: 233-255.

Herrera Batista A, Ruiz Candina H, Martínez Betancourt A. Caracterización del consumo de drogas psicoactivas por jóvenes y adolescentes atendidos en el Centro de Deshabituación de Adolescentes del municipio Playa. Rev Cubana Investigación Biomédica 2014; 33: 61-69.

Larrosa SL and Palomo JL. Factores de riesgo y de protección en el consumo de drogas en adolescentes y diferencias según edad y sexo. Psicothema 2010; 22: 568-573.

Martínez, M k, Salazar GM, Pedroza CG, Ruiz TE, Ayala VH. Resultados preliminares del Programa de Intervención Breve para Adolescentes que Inician el Consumo de Alcohol y otras Drogas. Rev Salud Ment 2008; 31(2).

Medina-Mora ME, Real T, Villatoro J, Natera G. Las drogas y la salud pública: hacia dónde vamos? salud pública de méxico 2013; 55: 67-73.

Romero MP. Consumo de drogas ilegales en jóvenes de Mérida. Antrópica. Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades 2019; 5: 57-75.

Sánchez-Sosa JC, Villarreal-González ME, Guerrero ME, Jiménez AV, Musitu G. Contextos de socialización y consumo de drogas ilegales en adolescentes escolarizados. Revista Psychosocial Intervention 2014; 23: 69-78.