Puerto Rico is mired in social hardships

Unbeknownst to most, the following social problems affect the island's population, particularly its children and youths:

The Sad Truth...

In 2013...

  • An estimated 60,000 people misused drugs regularly by injecting substances such as heroin, fentanyl and other drugs.

  • 11.1% of people between ages 17 and 40 reported a history of illicit drug use.

In 2015...

  • A total of 17,643 child abuse and neglect referrals were submitted to investigation.

  • Of all the reported violence and abuse cases, an astonishing 55% occurred to children under 9.

  • Out of every 1,000 children living in the island, 10 were abused.

  • In San Germán, the town where Casa Juan Pablo II is located, 13 children out of every 1,000 were abused.

  • 4,190 children were living under substitute care, away from their families.

  • Approximately 44,304 grandparents had the primary responsibility of caring for their grandchildren.

  • 596,000 children were living in poverty.

  • 21,000 teenagers ages 16 to 19 were neither enrolled in school nor working.

In 2017...

  • An estimated 12.1% of men had a history of illicit drug use, compared with 4.8% of the women.

  • The prevalence of lifetime Alcohol Use Disorder Severity in Puerto Rico among men and women was 38 and 16%, respectively.
  • 15 % of high school students reported they drank alcohol for the first time before age 13 years (other than a few sips).
  • 19 % of high school students reported they ever used marijuana 1 or more times.

  • 10 % of high school students reported they sniffed glue, breathed the contents of aerosol spray cans, or inhaled any paints or sprays to get high 1 or more times.

  • 7 % of high school students reported they used some form of cocaine (like powder, crack, or freebase) 1 or more times.

  • 36 % of high school students reported they felt sad or hopeless almost every day for 2 or more weeks in a row.

  • 17 % of high school students reported they seriously considered attempting suicide.

  • 14 % of high school students reported they attempted suicide 1 or more times.

  • 4 % Percent of high school students reported they attempted suicide resulting in an injury, poisoning, or overdose that had to be treated by a doctor or nurse.

Casa Juan Pablo II

works with individuals troubled by these social problems

to transform them into productive members of their community.

But we can't do it alone.

Help us continue our mission

by advocating or sponsoring one of our programs.



The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for, or to be relied upon as, professional counseling, diagnosis or treatment. This website is for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified professional with any questions regarding your circumstances and / or conditions or someone else's.

© 2020 Casa Juan Pablo II, Inc. Designed by AVCD.