Journal of Addictive Diseases
Andréa Costa Dias PhD, Denise Leite Vieira PhD, Luca Santoro Gomes MsC, Marcelo Ribeiro Araújo PhD & Ronaldo Laranjeira PhD
The use of crack has become significant and widespread in recent years. This increase re- flects the expansion of the global market of illicit drugs. In the Americas, it remains strong as ever, and new traffic routes are emerging.
In Brazil, the use of crack spread rapidly in the beginning of the 1990s and quickly gained ground due to its economic viability, high avail- ability, and the increased move of drug users from intravenous use—considered a risk for possible human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission—to smoking use. Surprisingly, longitudinal studies, particularly those with a
long time frame, that have evaluated the ramifications of crack use (as the primary substance) are relatively rare.
This study comes from a line of pioneering research in Brazil in the field of crack con- sumption. We have assessed a cohort of 131 crack users 12 years after they were discharged (1992–1994) from a specialized detoxification unit (Taipas General Hospital [TGH]). The same cohort was previously interviewed at a period of 2 and 5 years after treatment. Discussion of pre- liminary data of the current study (2005–2006) and the follow-up studies at 2 (1995–1996) and 5 (1998–1999) years can be found in the literature.