Cracolândia: Police start to approach drug users – 09/23/2022 – Daily life

Chemical dependents caught using drugs in Cracolândia, in downtown São Paulo, are being referred by the Metropolitan Civil Guard and the Civil Police to the 77th DP (Santa Cecília). The initiative, which began this week, is part of a project aimed at hospitalization, whether voluntary or involuntary.

“We ended the tolerance for traffic, now, we are entering a new phase, in which the police are no longer having tolerance for consumption on the streets, and the city hall is structured to provide assistance to people who participate in police occurrences” , said the executive secretary of Strategic Projects of the city, Alexis Vargas.

During driving, according to the incident report, there is no use of handcuffs.

The objective, according to Ricardo Nunes (MDB) management, is that users can receive care, whether to cure injuries resulting from the use of crack, such as blisters and bruises on the fingers, cases of syphilis or tuberculosis, and for hospitalization, whether voluntary or involuntary.

According to Vargas, 24 people were hospitalized voluntarily since the 8th of this month.

There were six hospitalizations on Wednesday (21), seven on Thursday (22) and one on Friday (23).

The other ten people were referred at other times, as in approaches carried out by social workers.

All are at the Cantareira General Hospital, in the north of the city, according to the city hall.

According to the secretary, the addict is taken to the police station after being caught consuming drugs on the public road. After being heard by a police officer, he is referred for a first assessment at the emergency Siat (Integrated Service for Therapeutic Acollege), a tent set up by the Redenção program on Helvétia Street, a few steps from the 77th DP and the largest concentration of drug addicts currently. .

If Siat professionals understand that the user needs extra care, he is taken to the Vergueiro UPA. It is the professionals of the emergency care unit who assess whether the case is for hospitalization.

“We were structured to provide the care indicated by health professionals, whether Caps, Siat or hospital, to provide individualized care for each one,” added the secretary.

Vargas stated that he does not see any problems with the action being carried out by police officers, since, according to him, people are accepting the approach and treatment, especially after users are dispersed. “I don’t think the police’s work is getting in the way, on the contrary, it’s helping us to give people more treatment.”

However, the use of police officers in the actions is criticized by psychoanalyst Jorge Broide, professor of the psychology course at PUC (Pontifical Catholic University) in São Paulo. He, who has been working with the homeless for 46 years, finds its effectiveness dubious.

“Treatment via police action does not generate the necessary effort that the user needs to have to be treated. It requires desire and trust on his part. This is achieved with the day-to-day work with him, forwarding and monitoring the treatment in health, work, housing assistance. Hospitalization must be voluntary”, he said.

The report had access to a police report in which drug addicts caught by the GCM were heard at the 77th DP.

Most of them said they had been addicted to crack for many years. A 34-year-old man reported using the narcotic since he was 11, undergoing treatment, but unable to get out of the addiction.

In addition to chemical dependency, many of those taken had wounds, mainly on the hands, in addition to apparent malnutrition, mental confusion and poor hygiene conditions, as described by the police in the document. They were referred to UPA Vergueiro and to assistance services under the Redenção program.

Several pipes with crack remains that were in the possession of users were seized.

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