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Press Releases & Statements

American Experts Promote Reduction in Drug Demand through Family Therapy and Preventative Measures

Mexico City, December 7, 2012 – This week, in connection with Mexico’s largest annual conference on the prevention and treatment of drug abuse, the U.S. Embassy sponsored the visits of several experts to speak about drug abuse prevention, family therapy, and drug treatment courts.  The conference, organized in Cancún by Centros de Integración Juvenil, A.C. (CIJ), Mexico’s largest and oldest non-governmental organization focused on drug addiction, brings drug demand reduction specialists together from across the hemisphere to address this important issue.  The Embassy has sponsored this event for over a decade.

U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne said, “We are pleased and proud to support CIJ and other Mexican-led efforts to reduce the demand for illicit drugs.  In the United States, drug use affects every sector of society, straining our economy, our healthcare and criminal justice systems, and endangering the futures of young people. While many challenges remain, overall drug use in the United States has dropped substantially over the past thirty years.  President Obama has committed over $10 billion annually to drug education programs and support for expanding access to drug treatment for addicts.”  

The U.S. Embassy sponsored the visit to Mexico of distinguished U.S. legal expert Julius Lang of the Center for Court Innovation — a public/private partnership in the United States that supports research and development of judicial sector reforms — to speak about drug treatment courts at the CIJ conference. 

With embassy support, Dr. Andrea Barthwell and Dr. Gonzalo Bacigalupe went to Chetumal and Cancún to present a series of lectures and round table discussions on drug abuse prevention and family therapy.  Dr. Barthwell is a founder and CEO of EMGlobal LLC, and former deputy director for demand reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.  Dr. Bacigalupe is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and School of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts.

The doctors were also panelists in the International Conference on Attention to Drug Addiction in a Human Rights Framework, where they presented their innovations in drug addiction treatment and prevention.  

Prior to speaking at the conference in Cancún, Dr. Barthwell and Dr. Bacigalupe spent two days engaging at-risk-youth, their families, as well as community and government leaders, and the press in an examination of  U.S. strategies to address illegal drug use, including the creation of prevention and treatment programs in schools.  The doctors also discussed drug use reduction programs that have been proven effective in the workplaces and communities.  In addition, they provided an overview of the United State’s response to Illegal drug use.