Quality of life, social functioning, family structure, and treatment history associated with crack cocaine use in youth from the general population
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship between crack cocaine use and dimensions of quality of life and social functioning in young adults. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, population-based study involving 1,560 participants in Pelotas, Brazil. Crack cocaine use and abuse were investigated using the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) inventory. Outcomes of interest were quality of life, religiosity, and social functioning in terms of education, occupational status, family structure, and medical treatment history. RESULTS: Lifetime crack cocaine use was associated with poor quality of life, worse functioning, impaired academic performance, and lower religious involvement. A greater maternal presence and higher paternal absence were more also more pronounced in crack cocaine users, who were also more likely to seek psychological and psychiatric treatment than the general population. CONCLUSION: Quality of life was severely impacted by crack cocaine use, especially in terms of general and physical health. Social functioning also differed between the general population and crack users, who had lower educational attainment and religious involvement. Maternal presence, paternal absence, and mental health-seeking behaviors were also more frequent among crack cocaine users, although these individuals reported lower rates of treatment satisfaction. Crack cocaine users also had significant social impairment, so that interventions involving family management and a greater focus on general health, quality of life, and functioning may make crucial contributions to the recovery of this group.
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