Follow-Up Study of Crack Cocaine Users: Situation of the Patients After 2, 5, and 12 Years
Andr´ea Costa Dias, MSci Marcelo Ribeiro, PhD John Dunn, PhD Ricardo Sesso, PhD Ronaldo Laranjeira, PhD
The purpose of this study was to follow-up 131 crack users and examine drug use,treatment experience, employment status, and mortality at 2, 5, and 12 years. Consecutive crack dependent patients were re-interviewed in 1995–1996, 1998–1999, and 2005–2006. Of those subjects not using cocaine at 2 years, 19 (63%) were still abstinent at 5 years. Almost half of the users were abstinent at the same period. The abstinent group was still the most prevalent at 12 years. Twenty-seven (20.6%) patients had died by the 12-year follow-up, with homicide being the most common cause (n=16). After 2000, however, it declined sharply with only 2 deaths in 7 years. There was a progressive movement toward abstinence over the follow-up period, with the evidence that once abstinence had been achieved it was maintained. On the other hand, the mortality rate was extremely high and probably more related with socioeconomic factors instead of the drug use itself.