In Brazil, the first large crack consumption market appeared at the end of the 1980s in São Paulo and expanded during the 1990s reaching its peak halfway the decade. Crack use spread to other regions in Brazil during the 1990s, in particular to youngsters from low-income population in urban areas. A 2002 survey among young street dwellers in all the state capitals revealed that crack had spread to 22 states.
Based on two studies carried out in the cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, this report examines the origin, characteristics and impact of the explosive increase in cocaine base paste in urban areas. It also highlights the variety of products consumed in these cities and the substance known as crack that is consumed in Brazilian cities. The Brazilian experience with this consumption could serve as an example and a lesson for the Southern Cone.