Addictions. Why a group of mothers from La Matanza demands to change the mental health law

This afternoon, a group of mothers from La Matanza concerned about their children’s addictions met at the La Juanita Cooperative with Marina Charpentyr, mother of Chano, the former leader of Tan Bionica, and Stella Maurigmother of a young addict who committed suicide in July 2019. The central axis of this seminar on addictions, public policies and families, was the reflection on the problems faced by families and addicts and the need for a change in the current law of mental health. “We are in a difficult time where, in addition to the economic crisis, there is a crisis of family values. Parents juggle work and being home with their children. The kids are alone, on their phones, in their rooms, on the street and they get out of control,” he said. Marina Charpentier, in communication via Zoom from Chapel of the Lord. Charpentier, who is also a social worker and addiction specialist, assured that she puts her voice to show a reality that many people live. “It seems that we have uncovered a compress from many people who suffer and are not listened to”, he warned and assured that, at this moment, it is the Church that took the role of the State and helps the people. He also emphasized the need for more dialogue, “let’s ask our children what’s wrong with them”, he emphasized and highlighted the fundamental role of the family in supporting the addict. On the other hand, she suggested to mothers and fathers who are going through this problem to approach Nar Anon (https://www.nar-anon.org/argentina), which provides a free service to relatives of addicts and holds virtual meetings daily. . “All you need is a cell phone. In these groups, families are listened to, guided, provided with tools and helped to live better”, he affirmed. As a final recommendation, he stated: “you have to push the limit and learn to say no, the limit is love”.The meeting, which took place in Gregorio de Laferrere, in the district of La Matanza, was organized by Marcela Campagnoli, deputy of the Civic Coalition: “the mothers of La Matanza are worried about the advance of drugs and I wanted to bring them the direct testimony of mothers who go through the same thing.” It also had the participation of Hector “Toty” Floresowner of Cooperativa La Juanita and the moderation of Claudio Grecograduated in psychology and specialist in addictions since 1984 and in neurosciences.Via Zoom, Marina Charpentier, mother of the Chano musician, participated in the Hernán Zenteno seminar“We agree with the non-manicomization, human rights and respect for freedom. But we also believe that the right to health is a right that cannot be postponed. The mental health law encompasses the problems of psychiatric pathologies together with addictions and these require a specific approach and that is why they need a specific law”, he explained. Grecco. “There is a lot of emphasis on the fact that those of us who are debating the mental health law only want to hospitalize and there are other therapeutic devices such as the outpatient clinic, the day hospital, the half-day hospital and hospitalization, which is the last resort,” he said.Grecco He also stressed that all those instances prior to hospitalization that have to function correctly today are not there. “It is paradoxical in a country where we have a 300% increase in cocaine use in the last ten years and we are the second country in consumption of marijuana in America it is forbidden to open addiction rehabilitation centers. We speak then of two rights: the right to freedom and the right to health; and we believe that the right to health comes first because without health there is no freedom”, emphasized the addiction specialist.Stella Maurigwho is a specialist in drug addiction, recounted the tragedy he experienced with his son who committed suicide in 2019 and had started using in 2007. After managing to hospitalize him twice, he had a strong relapse in 2011 and 2012 and, in 2013, with the sanction of the current mental health law 26,657 Hospitalization was no longer possible. “He was detained, he spent ten months and they only told him that he had to go to a psychiatrist, no one mentioned that he needed treatment. Again we are unprotected. My son went to live alone and I remember that on July 15 he called us desperate because he didn’t want to use anymore, his friends had let go of his hand. He asked us for help, ”she recounted moved. The next day he committed suicide. “I buried my son on July 21 and on July 23 I went to work and, since then I never left. I thought that for a mother whose youngest son dies it would be like a hurricane to be able to get up from such a big fall. I kept walking and here I am, since then I have been fighting tooth and nail asking for a specific law on addictions because there are many moms, dads and siblings who are desperate, “she said. Stella Maurig, Claudio Grecco, Marcela Campagnoli and Toty Flores participated in the seminar in which the deficiencies of the mental health law were analyzed Stella Maurig, Claudio Grecco, Marcela Campagnoli and Toty Flores participated in the seminar in which the deficiencies of the mental health law were analyzedHernán ZentenoMaurig added: “it is unfortunate to have to listen to stories of mothers who lose their children, it is much better to listen to a mother who says that her son is in rehabilitation, is changing his life, that he has a job again, that he does not steal or does not steal anymore. I am fighting for that, to change the law. We have to raise our voice so that they listen to us, so that they help us. Let’s not lower our armsthere is hope, not all addicts are suicidal, the family is a fundamental pillar”, said Maurig, who convenes next Friday, or at 12, to a “Mother March” to the National Congress to claim the legislators for a specific law on addictions. The deputy Campagnoli Last October, he presented a project to amend Law 26,657 on mental health, which has been in force for eleven years. Among other points, it focuses on article 20 which determines the steps for hospitalization against the will of patients. This establishes that it is only possible as an exceptional therapeutic resource, in case ambulatory approaches are not feasible, and it can only be carried out when, in the opinion of the health team, there is a situation of certain and imminent risk for oneself or for third parties.“ It is a point that must be relaxed because no patient will want to be hospitalized and, then, the family needs the authorization of the interdisciplinary team. Chano’s mother said it very clearly, when she explained that she can pay for that team, but a person who cannot and has to ask for an appointment at a general hospital has to wait six months for it to be given to him, “emphasized the deputy. On this point, Grecco stated: “the law speaks of the voluntary hospitalization of the patient, but who would think of requesting it when the scientific evidence, which this law ignores, is that addicted people have damaged the frontal lobe, which is the one who makes the decisions, how can we ask them to decide?” On the other hand, the current law establishes that the patient can be hospitalized if two people from the interdisciplinary team give their consent and one of them must be either a psychologist or a psychiatrist. “The psychologist is not a doctor, cannot medicate or diagnose a pathology that has to do with a clinical state. The only one who can decide is the psychiatrist, they are not interchangeable roles because he is the only one who can medicate and diagnose in an emergency”, he warned. Article 22 of the current law also generates controversy among relatives and specialists since it establishes that the person interned involuntarily can designate a lawyer or even if he does not request one, the State appoints one, who can oppose the hospitalization and request the externalization in any moment. The project of Campagnoli It also incorporates training for family members and security forces to deal with the mentally ill or people who are under the influence of drugs.

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