Teenage Issues

Information on some of the issues which affect young people including teen pregnancy, alcohol and drug use and the laws surrounding them in Costa Rica...

Drugs and Alcohol

The legal minimum drinking age is eighteen.

Except for alcohol, tobacco and a few other stimulants, drugs are illegal in Costa Rica. The country forms part of the drug trafficking route through Central America, meaning it has drug issues of its own. Several organizations are combating both trafficking and substance abuse, though a problem with hard drugs exists in a small sector of society.

  • For a detailed report of drug use in Costa Rica: Click here

The Alcohol and Drug Dependency Institute (Instituto sobre Alcoholismo y Farmacodependencia - IAFA) is the national organization providing information and support to those for whom drug and alcohol abuse has become a problem.

The IAFA has also initiated a football-focused project which addresses the issue of adolescent substance abuse - El Proyecto Canchas Libres de Alcohol, Tabaco y Drogas.

  • For more information about the project: Click here (in Spanish)

Support for Adolescents

  • The Young Persons Council (Consejo de la Persona Joven - CPJ) forms a branch of the Ministry of Culture and Youth whose mission it is to ensure rights equality for adolescents
  • The Defense of Children (Defensa de Ninas y Ninos Internacional - DNI) provides assistance to children and adolescents in danger
  • The National Children's Trust (Patronato Nacional De La Infancia - PANI) is a trust formed to protect the rights of children and adolescents
    • Tel: 2523 0700 / 2523 0800 / 2523 0900 / 2523 0881