Photos: Harm Reduction in Brazil’s Cracolândias
A progressive new program seeks to help employ the thousands of crack users in Brazilian "Cracklands" without forcing them to quit using.
There are an estimated one million crack users in Brazil, many of whom reside in Cracolândias (Cracklands)—open-air drug markets where users freely smoke in a de facto legal environment. The largest of these markets is located in São Paulo, where a new approach has recently been implemented. The Open Arms program, launched in January 2014, is a city-sponsored harm reduction initiative that provides housing, food and job training to users without asking participants to quit using.
In a number of ways the program has so far been successful—for example, 16 of the initial 422 participants have progressed through part-time work to being deemed fit for full-time work. By working methodically within the community and meeting people where they are, Open Arms is finding a sustainable approach to reducing drug dependency in São Paulo.
A photoessay by The Guardian offers a window into Cracolândias and the people involved in the Open Arms program:
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