Cocaine is an illicit drug with stimulant effect, and it has a vast market in the American regions, including Brazil. Earlier studies have already demonstrated an association between the use of psychoactive substances such as cocaine and deaths resulting from homicides and suicides. However, epidemiological data about this association is scarce in Brazil. The present research proposal has the main goal of obtaining the prevalence of cocaine use among homicide and suicide victims in the city of Sao Paulo. Moreover, we hope to further investigate this association by exploring contextual factors related to the fatal injury events studied. This project will consist in the collection of blood samples from fatal victims necropsied at the Institute of Legal Medicine in the city of São Paulo during 2014-2015. These samples will be submitted to toxicological analysis for a variety of drugs, including cocaine and alcohol. In addition, toxicological data will be linked to contextual variables (such as the place of the injury and the method of death) in order to understand better the association between cocaine use and the fatal injuries studied. As a result, we expect to generate an estimate of cocaine use among homicide and suicide victims in the city of Sao Paulo, as well as a better understanding of the main associated factors related to cocaine use among these victims.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: