Solvent inhalants use in the San Judas Tadeo feast

Arturo Ortiz Castro, Mario J. Domínguez García, Gabriela Palomares Calderón



Introduction. San Judas Tadeo is the patron saint of the difficult and desperate causes. Among popular beliefs, it is supposed that street kids pray to him and that he helps them quit the use of drugs.

Objective. Understanding the phenomenon of the misuse of solvents in the context of the san Judas Tadeo festivity among street children living in the Historical Center zone of Mexico City.

Method. The “Meeting places” methodology developed by Hughes and adapted by Ortiz was applied from 2011 to 2014. Non-participant and participant observations, as well as unstructured and structured interviews to key informants were conducted.

Results. Twenty-two festivities of san Judas Tadeo were documented, and more than 300 solvent users were interviewed. The average age was 25 years. They were unemployed and begged for money. All of them were activo users which they administered with monas. They usually did it in binge patterns: use – non use, high – low use.

Discussion and conclusion. The link between the consumption of inhalants and the cult of St. Jude in children living in the streets is fictitious.


Street kids; solvent; inhalant; San Judas Tadeo