Mortality rate among crack/cocaine-dependent patients: A 12-year prospective cohort study conducted in Brazil
Andréa C. Dias, (Ph.D.)a,␣, Marcelo R. Araújo, (Ph.D.)a, John Dunn, (Ph.D.)a, Ricardo C. Sesso, (Ph.D.)b, Viviane de Castro, (Ph.D.)a, Ronaldo Laranjeira, (Ph.D.)a
Crack/cocaine is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant substance that has been abused for decades. Although crack/cocaine is a complex and steady phenom- enon in our global society (Fischer & Coghlan, 2007; Gossop, Marsden, Stewart, & Kidd, 2003), long-term follow-up investigations are scarce (Falck, Wang, & Carlson, 2007, 2008; Hser et al., 2006).
Studies found in the literature are limited to short-term outcomes related to risk and social segregation, such as criminal involvement (Borders et al., 2008; Fischer et al., 2006; Harocopos, Dennis, Turnbull, Parsons, & Hough, 2003), unemployment and low-income status (Buster et al., 2009; Paquette, Roy, Petit, & Boivin, 2010; Siegal, Falck, Wang, & Carlson, 2002), severe health problems (Borders et al., 2009; Falck, Wang, Siegal, & Carlson, 2000), and sexual risk behaviors (Hser, Joshi, Anglin, & Fletcher, 1999; Santibanez et al., 2005; Wechsberg et al., 2010, in press). Furthermore, there are a few studies on recovery processes (Gossop, Marsden, Stewart, & Kidd, 2002; Henskens, Garretsen, Bongers, Van Dijk, & Sturmans, 2008; Siegal, Li, Rapp, & Saha, 2001; Siegal, Li, & Rapp, 2002; Marsden et al., 2009; McKay et al., 2005; Wechsberg, Zule, Riehman, Luseno, & Lam, 2007).
Nonetheless, mortality rate is one relevant outcome that has not been receiving the deserved attention in our field (Gossop, Stewart, Treacy, & Marsden, 2002; Morgan, Vincente, Griffiths, & Hickman, 2008). Identifying long- term mortality indicators is an important task to help us understand and acknowledge specific contexts and risk factors that may contribute to increase death occurrence.
This is a pioneer long-term study examining mortality rate, mortality indicators, and death causes among 131 Brazilian crack/cocaine-dependent patients who sought treatment during mid 1990s in Brazil.