By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A study by the Centre of Information and Management of Rio de Janeiro Drugs shows that nearly half of the crack users that visit treatment centers in the state are in the capital city of Rio. Also about eighty percent are men and almost 47 percent did not complete primary school.
The State Secretary for Prevention of Chemical Dependency (SEPREDEQ) concluded the study from the care provided in its network in the year 2014, and reveals a profile of users of illicit drugs (not including Marijuana) in the state of Rio de Janeiro. According to the data from those seeking treatment, inhaled cocaine is the cause of 58 percent of visits, followed by alcohol with 37 percent and 21 percent crack.
In the specific case of the crack, the department found that the majority are considered mulatto race (42.6 percent) and are between 18-34 years (66.2 percent). One fact that stands out is that the vast majority of users (72.9 percent) are not living on the streets but have homes, yet spend much of their time at drug use venues.
Compared to the research of FIOCRUZ held in 26 capital cities across Brazil in 2014, the data from SEPREDEQ is in accordance with the national figures. According to the same survey, sixty percent of crack users in Brazil do not live on the streets; they live in houses, condominiums, apartments.
Last year, 405 crack users were attended by the state system hosting services of Rio de Janeiro. The x-ray of drug users served by the Chemical Dependency Prevention Bureau was released this week and shows that in 2014 the crack was the third most commonly used drug among those who sought help from the state.
Brazil is the world’s second largest consumer of cocaine and crack, behind only the United States, and accounting for twenty percent of the worldwide market for cocaine and its derivatives, according to a study released in 2012. At the time researchers, led by psychiatrist Ronaldo Laranjeira, said that “No other country has one million crack users today,” and according to his data, one in every hundred Brazilian adults smoked crack in the previous year.