June 24, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic not only brought death and economic destruction in our country, but also an increase in mental health diseases, especially due to the increased consumption of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and/or synthetic drugs.
In this regard, Dr. Mauricio León Rivera, Surgical Oncologist of our clinic, explained that, for example, the loss of a very close family member or friend, being unemployed or spending a lot of time at home, can be the cause of suffering various mental disorders, such as fear, anxiety and/or depression.
The specialist pointed out that we must be careful with the consumption of these drugs, some legal but harmful to our health. “Tobacco is responsible for some 16,700 deaths a year in Peru, of which 14 % are men and 10 % women”, he said.
Dr. Leon said that the figures are alarming when we consider the consequences of their consumption, such as the increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory problems in general.
In the case of COVID-19, the specialist mentioned that recent reports link smoking with a worse progression and higher mortality; something that is not surprising when we consider that tobacco use is associated with many respiratory diseases and a weaker immune system.
In Peru, tobacco is the second most-consumed drug. More than eight million inhabitants have used tobacco at some time in their lives and almost half a million Peruvians between 19 and 24 years old already have this habit.
Alcohol consumption is a factor that causes more than 200 diseases. For example, liver cirrhosis, some types of cancer and/or cardiovascular diseases, as well as trauma resulting from violence and traffic accidents.
According to CEDRO, marijuana causes ten times more damage to the lungs than tobacco itself and in turn is capable of remaining “attached” to the brain for a month, unlike other types of drugs.
“As for synthetic drugs, in addition to the consumption of the famous ecstasy now includes ketamine, popper, methamphetamine, LSD, PCP, and tucibi or “pink cocaine” 2TC or 25I-NBome. Young people buy these drugs online without knowing the damage it causes to the brain and they consume them in group, so parents and guardians are recommended to always be alert.” Concluded the doctor.
Dr. Mauricio León
Mastologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma