IWILL never forget my visit to the women’s outpatient treatment centre at Pereira Rossell Hospital in Montevideo, Uruguay, in November 2015. I was in the country in my capacity as president of the International Narcotics Control Board and had the chance to participate in a group therapy session with some of the drug-dependent women at the hospital. Many of them spoke about how they had become estranged from their families and communities as a result of their drug dependence; some had been living on the streets. Many held their children in their arms.
I met Ana-Paula, a mother in her 20s, whose optimism and warmth I admired, given her ongoing struggle. I was deeply moved by her story of how she had sought treatment for her coca paste dependence upon discovering she was pregnant. She realised she had lost control of her life and wanted nothing more than to have a healthy baby. She had succeeded in not using coca paste for the past few months, found a