By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Yesterday, the government launched a R$4 billion initiative to combat Brazil’s ongoing problem with crack cocaine, focusing on the three key areas of care, prevention and authority. The new program aims to increase the quality and availability of healthcare and advice for drug users by providing a network of specialized treatment centers called Conte Com a Gente (Count on Us).
It also plan to create an additional 2,462 beds in National Health Service (SUS) hospitals specifically for the treatment of drug dependents.
In addition to this, the government will roll out a variety of awareness campaigns, including a schools and communities program that is designated to reach 42,000 public schools nationwide.
Under the program, a minimum of 210,000 educators and community leaders, and an additional 3,300 military police officers will be trained to deliver drugs prevention education.
The government also plans to crack down on the source of the problem by creating an integrated state and federal intelligence service to intercept drug trafficking operations, and by increasing vigilance at the country’s borders.
They also outlined plans to clear the streets of drug users by increasing patrols in inner city areas and revitalizing areas which are known points of consumption.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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