São Paulo’s drug policies are working – will the new mayor kill them?

67% of the programme’s beneficiaries surveyed claimed they had reduced crack use after joining De Braços Abertos
The Conversation (UK)
Friday, October 21, 2016

bracos_abertosA harm-reduction approach, De Braços Abertos (“With Open Arms”), to homeless crack use in São Paulo’s city centre hangs in the balance. For over two decades, downtown São Paulo has struggled with an area of open drug consumption, known as Cracolândia (“Crackland”). City officials have made many attempts to tackle this situation with law enforcement. The innovative De Braços Abertos emphasises not police monitoring or abstinence from drugs, but social care. The new mayor João Doria made closing down the succesful programme a campaign promise, calling it “open arms to death”. (See also: Sao Paulo strategy to help drug addicts in Cracolandia)