CRACK COCAINE: THE IMPACT OF EARLY TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES
problem, due to the impulse to come on surface and the urgent answer it requires. Family is identified
as one of the main areas able to influence people to initiate and reach problematic consumption
patterns. To research childhood and adolescence traumatic life experiences history is important for
intervention in treatment of crack cocaine users. Studies suggest that drug addicts diagnosed with
posttraumatic stress disorder choose the abuse substance to relieve symptoms related to the traumatic
event and to suppress the distressing memory. Objective: To comprehend violence and losses early
experiences impact on crack cocaine users. Material and Methods: Qualitative research, conducted
through semi-structured interviews, with 20 family members of crack cocaine addicts registered at
Alcohol and Drugs Psychosocial Care Center (CAPS AD) in Ponta Porã/ MS, in a convenience sampling.
Data were analyzed following the Discourse of the Collective Subject (DSC) method, whose
substantiation is the Social Representation Theory. Results: The crack cocaine users profile of this study
is: low education (70%), disadvantaged socioeconomic status (85% income less than one minimum
wage), living in suburbs (90%), coming from remarried families (80%) with 02-05 unions. All interviewees
reported experiencing loss – via abandonment, death or negligence - and physical or psychological
violence, before the consumption of crack. Discussion and Conclusion: It has been found in 100% of the
sample a traumatic event followed by the feeling of abandonment prior to the consumption of crack
cocaine. Failures on building emotional ties and poorly performed relational exchanges bring the feeling
of abandonment. Drug consumption appears attractive because offers a coping compensation to
current conflicts. The unmeasured and inappropriate way to approach drug seems to follow the model
of family learned emotional exchanges. Dysfunctional family dynamics permeated by traumatic
experiences has a fundamental role in the initiation and maintenance of crack cocaine consumption.
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica em Saúde.
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Tractenberg SG, Viola TW, Rosa CSO, Donati JM, Franke ID, Pezzi JC, Grassi-Oliveira R. Exposição a
trauma e transtorno de estresse pós-traumático em usuárias de crack. J Bras Psiquiatr 2012; 61:206-213.
Tull MT, Gratz KL, Aklin WM, Lejuez CW. A preliminary examination of the relationships between
posttraumatic stress symptoms and crack/cocaine, heroin, and alcohol dependence. J Anxiety Disord
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