Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about national drug policies in various countries around the world.
Eighteen people were killed last month in a fire at a drug rehabilitation center in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s second-largest city. The blaze was reportedly caused by patients who rioted in a bid to escape the clinic, which was operating illegally. In an interview with WPR, Carla Alvarez, a titular professor of political science at the State University of Milagro in Ecuador, discusses the pervasive problem of illegal rehabilitation clinics and explains why Ecuador’s government should focus on preventing drug addiction instead of criminal enforcement.
World Politics Review: How serious is the problem in Ecuador of poorly regulated drug rehabilitation centers, and what are the main causes?