Honduran Congress will finance treatment for 200 glue-addicted
A law passed Saturday night will see authorities round up 200 homeless
ages 15 and younger and finance their trip to state-run treatment centers for
addiction to an industrial glue used primarily in the manufacturing of shoes.
An estimated 15,000 street children in Tegucigalpa and in most of Honduras
cities are addicted to the glue, whose fumes shock the nervous system and render
the senses useless for up to eight hours -- making hunger, cold, loneliness and pain
The chemicals cause irreversible brain, lung and kidney damage, leaving
slack-jawed, glassy-eyed addicts stumbling through their lives, unable to
comprehend even the simplest aspects of the world around them.
Thousands of youngsters wander the streets clutching baby food jars and
bags full of yellow globs of glue known as resistol, the brand name of an
industrial-grade adhesive St. Paul, Minnesota-based H.B. Fuller once produced here.
A 1996 law made it illegal for anyone other than licensed industrial distributors
sell the glue, but demand for the inhalant has spawned a cottage industry of illegal
vendors where droves homeless kids go to get their fix.
The bill's sponsor, Liberal Rep. Jose Ernesto Maradiaga, said lawmakers
not sure how much the treatment of 200 children will cost.
< p> Still, he said, something had to be done to save the lives of the
lawmakers see every day on their way to work.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press