Objectives: To investigate the 2-year outcome of the first 131 crack cocaine users who had been admitted for a period of inpatient treatment.
Design: Follow-up study of consecutive patients admitted between 1992 and 1994.
Setting: Inpatient detoxification unit of a public general hospital in São Paulo City, Brazil.
Participants: 131 consecutive crack cocaine users.
Measures: Reported crack use during last 12 months, incarceration and death.
Findings: After 2 years, 50 patients reported crack use in the last 12 months, 29 said that they had not used it during this period, 9 were in prison, 13 had died, 2 had disappeared and no information was available on 28.
Conclusions: Crack cocaine use seems to be associated with a high mortality rate and criminal involvement but about one-third of patients give up using the drug within 2 years of inpatient treatment.