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The crack use as a public health problem and the De Braços Abertos program.

Grant number: 15/19667-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2016 - February 28, 2018
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health
Principal researcher:Pedro Paulo Gomes Pereira
Grantee:Pedro Paulo Gomes Pereira
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Ygor Diego Delgado Alves


Unlike powdered cocaine which may be inhaled or injected, crack stone is smoked, what resembles much the rapidity of onset of effects and its magnitude to the use of intravenously cocaine. Its effects and clinical manifestations are broad-spectrum. Other implications of crack use concern to the social dynamics of use. It is a drug that, under certain circumstances proves to be empathogenic, which gives rise, combined with other factors such as drug availability and vulnerability of the population living on the streets, the use scenes known as cracolândias, a major problem public health. Since the existence of the problem, a number of public policies sought cope with the cracolândias and these policies often followed approaches marked by the ideology of the "war on drugs" or "zero tolerance." In contrast, treat the "drug problem" as a public health question does not restrict the issue to the field of public safety, but puts focus on the harm linked to the use of these substances. The De Braços Abertos program from the Municipality of São Paulo City Hall is the first large public health policy to deal with drug use by the most underserved population in the areas where this usage occurs, under a harm reduction perspective. This project proposes to know, in an unprecedented manner, the changes caused by the different actions promoted by the De Braços Abertos. We have as its central objective to describe, among beneficiaries of the DBA program, crack usage patterns and prevailing factors in greater or lesser self-regulation of the use (such as availability of the drug, life structure, rituals and rules). Therefore, we will avail ourselves with the tools of ethnography, with qualitative interviews and participant observation of individuals in their daily lives. (AU)

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