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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


FERREIRA FILHO, Olavo Franco; TURCHI, Marilia Dalva; LARANJEIRA, Ronaldo  and  CASTELO, Adauto. Epidemiological profile of cocaine users on treatment in psychiatrics hospitals, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.6, pp.751-759. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiological profile and patterns of cocaine use among hospitalized drug users. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out among drug users, aged 18 years or more, hospitalized in one out six selected psychiatric hospitals in the metropolitan area of Greater São Paulo, whose clinical conditions allowed them to reliably answer to a standardized questionnaire and who agreed to participate. Six psychiatric hospitals who attended spontaneously referred public and private patients from all Greater São Paulo were selected. Data collection was conducted using structured interviews, individually applied by a trained psychologist. Statistical analysis was performed using Student t-test and Chi-square test at p<0.05. RESULTS: There was a predominance of crack use (38.4%) over intravenous drug use (1.6%). Addicts who smoked cocaine had lower education, most were unemployed and had previously lived on the streets, and used higher amounts of drugs. These addicts also had been previously incarcerated more often than addicts who used other routes for drug administration. CONCLUSIONS: Drug use is a serious public health problem in Greater São Paulo, and this is shown by the great amount of hospital admissions due to drug addiction. Crack users have lower socioeconomic status and more often engage in violence and crimes.

Keywords : Cocaine-related disorders [epidemiology]; Inpatients; Hospitals, psychiatric; Socioeconomic factors; Crack cocaine; Substance abuse, intravenous.

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