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Experiences of adolescent crack users and their relatives with psychosocial care and institucionalization

Milena Lima de Paula Maria Salete Bessa Jorge Leilson Lira de Lima Indara Cavalcante Bezerra About the authors


The Drug User Comprehensive Care Policy establishes that care practices should cover biopsychosocial realms. However, evidence reveals an institutionalized practice, in which families prioritize the subject’s seclusion from its context of use. This study aimed to understand the implications of psychosocial care and institutionalization in meeting the needs of adolescent crack users and their families. Eleven teenagers and six relatives narrated their experiences through in-depth interviews, which were analyzed in the light of Paul Ricoeur’s Phenomenological Hermeneutics. A flow was observed in which teenagers seeking care are initially institutionalized and then referred to replacement services. Thus, there is an urgent need to strengthen the psychosocial care network so that adolescent crack users’ care is offered comprehensively, ensuring respect for their fundamental rights, such as the right to freedom and to experience family or community life.

Crack cocaine; Adolescent; Family; Institutionalization; Social Vulnerability

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