1. ITV Report

'Crackland' Sao Paulo - The crack cocaine hub of Brazil

A pregnant woman smokes crack in the part of Sao Paulo's Luz neighborhood. Photo: REUTERS/Fernando Donasci/Files

As Brazil gears up to host the 2014 World Cup, a different face is seen in Sao Paulo as hundreds gather daily to buy and smoke crack cocaine on the streets.

ITV News Brazil Correspondent Nick Ravenscroft reports:

Hundreds of addicts huddle together on filthy mattresses in Brazil's largest city, that will also host England's group game against Uruguay on June 19th.

What Is Crack Cocaine?

  • Crack or crack cocaine is a form of cocaine.
  • Crack comes in a rock crystal form that can be heated and inhaled or smoked.
  • It is called 'crack' in reference to the cracking sound it makes when it is heated.
  • Crack is highly addictive, possibly even more than other forms of cocaine.
  • Crack users are at risk of dangerously elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature, risk of seizure and cardiac arrest) as well as respiratory disorders, such as coughing, bleeding, shortness of breath, and lung trauma.
  • Crack use can cause paranoia and aggressiveness.

Information about Crack Cocaine by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

A drug user consumes crack in the old center of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Credit: REUTERS/Lunae Parracho

Brazil has the biggest crack cocaine problem in the world with 1.2 million addicts, 1 in 7 being children, which comes as no surprise when half of all women addicts become pregnant.

Reporter Nick Ravenscroft was offered crack while in the famous 'Crackland' Credit: ITV News