Brazil Drug Addiction and Treatment
For many years, Brazil has been considered by world banks, the U.N. and human rights groups to be a hotbed of corruption. In scandal after scandal, local and national government officials are arrested and charged with taking bribes or profiting hugely from public projects. This unethical atmosphere opens the door for involvement in other corrupt activities such as international drug trafficking.
This country of 198 million people is the fifth largest country in the world, only slightly smaller in landmass than the United States. It suffers from high levels of crime including high rates of homicides and kidnappings. The combination of serious inequality of income and high crime rates create an advantageous environment for both international drug trafficking and drug consumption within the country. Corrupt officials make possible the flights, overland shipments and container loads, by looking the other way or by hampering the ability of law enforcement to detect the shipments.
Brazil's Largest Port in Santos Has Little Equipment to Detect Contraband
It's the biggest port in Brazil and Latin America both: Santos in the southern portion of Brazil. More than 80 million tonnes of cargo pass through this container facility yearly - some of it drugs heading for Africa or Europe. But port authorities are poorly equipped to detect any contraband, They only have two outdated scanners for the hundreds of thousands of containers.
Santos is located just a Brazilian stone's throw from an area where the border of Brazil meets the borders of Peru and Bolivia. This tri-country region has become known as a staging point for Colombian cocaine that is headed to other hemispheres.
The U.N. recently stated: "The territory of Brazil is increasingly exploited by international crime groups looking for transit points for cocaine shipments from Colombia, Bolivia and Peru to Europe." Colombia, Peru and Bolivia all contribute to the production of 1000 tons of coke each year. The most recent trend in trafficking is to move it through other Latin American countries, particularly Brazil and Venezuela.
The More Drugs in Transit, the More Local Use of Drugs
As more cocaine moves through the country, more of it becomes available for local consumption. Brazil is the second-largest consumer of cocaine in the Americas. Higher levels of trafficking in the south and southeast districts (near the tri-country area and the Santos port) result in higher usage rates in those areas, double the usage rates in other districts.
Across Brazil, the lifetime prevalence rates of crack cocaine use doubled between 2001 and 2005 and increased strongly for powder cocaine. Latin America's largest market for opiates or opioids (synthetic opiates) is Brazil, and more cannabis was seized in 2006 in Brazil (167 tons) than any other South American country.
In a Desperate Country, Narconon Brazil Opens a Beautiful Drug Recovery Facility
Ten years ago, there was no Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in the entire country, despite the country's desperate need. The first Narconon operation was composed of a small center offering drug education lectures and the first step any addict takes when they are going to get clean - withdrawal. But the Narconon withdrawal step is not like that at any other drug recovery facility. It is completely drugless and uses vitamins, minerals and gentle reorientation exercises to get a person through a tolerable withdrawal. In some cases, the withdrawal can be so mild that withdrawal symptoms are over before the addict even thinks they have started.
Delivery expanded when a house in the suburbs was obtained so the staff could deliver the entire eight-phase Narconon drug rehab program. Six addicts could kick their habits at one time in this new drug treatment center.
Then a mother watched her son go through a miraculous recovery at this Narconon treatment facility and insisted on bringing more drug recovery potential to the country. She helped the Narconon staff raise funds and find an appropriate new facility for expansion. The new Narconon Brasil location was in Minas Gerais, about two hours outside of Sao Paulo.
Formerly the location of a spa, the new facility has two swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor, two saunas used for thorough detoxification to help eliminate cravings, and a beautiful, peaceful setting above a green valley.
In this Safe Environment, Drug Recovery is Possible
In this serene setting, those who have become addicted to the drugs criss-crossing the country have a chance to leave all that behind and focus on building a new, drug-free life. The Narconon drug treatment center takes each person from the withdrawal step through the thorough detoxification step and on to the rebuilding of self-esteem and life skills. Through study and application, each person learns what mistakes made them fall down and how they can prevent those mistakes in the future. Life skills exercises help each person review his or her life and overcome guilt and regret. Those on this substance abuse treatment program commonly rebuild relationships with family and friends they previously rejected.
As services are delivered in three languages - Brazilian Portuguese, English and Spanish - people come from all over the world to complete this drug program. It's common to meet people here from Suriname, Germany, Argentina, and the United States as well as Brazil who want to live fresh, new lives free of all drugs or alcohol.