Objective: To investigate the association of alcohol and cocaine use with urban violence (both as victim and as perpetrator) in a representative sample of the Brazilian population.
Method: The Second Brazilian Alcohol and Drugs Survey (II BNADS) interviewed 4607 individuals aged 14 years and older from the Brazilian household population including an oversample of 1157 adolescents (14 to 18 years old). The survey gathered information on alcohol, tobacco and illegal substances use as well as on risk factors for abuse and dependence, behaviors associated with the use of substances and the possible consequences, as urban violence indicators.
Results: Approximately 9.3% of the Brazilian population has been victim of at least one form of urban violence. This proportion increases to 19.7% among cocaine users and to 18.1% among individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUD). Perpetration of violence was reported by 6.2% of the sample. Cocaine use and AUD increased in almost four times the chances of being an aggressor. Being religious and married decreased the chances of being a victim and/or perpetrador of urban violence. Higher education also decreased the chances of involvement in both victimization or perpetration of violence. Both Parallel Mediation Models considering cocaine use as a predictor of urban violence (victimization or perpetration) were valid and alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms were mediators of this relationship.
Conclusions: This study presents relevant data of interest to Brazil as this country is one of the major consumer market of cocaine and also is among the most violent countries worldwide.