Cheap and easy to come by, crack has become a plague to a country that has been envied by other South American nations for its stable economy and job creation. President Dilma Rousseff committed $2 billion to drug prevention and treatment in 2011 but the Cracolândias, or cracklands as the open air drug markets are called, have grown still.http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/worl ... c/1928769/
Desperate for answers, Sao Paulo's state government has taken an unconventional approach: It has sought a solution from the Catholic Church.
In the central neighborhood of Luz, hundreds of bedraggled addicts roam and sit and smoke crack in daylight in a narrow street behind Sala Sao Paulo, where the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra plays to the city's upper class.
The government sent in the military here to clean it out, but the fix was temporary. The Belém Mission believes that getting clean is about hard work and prayer.
Religion is at its core, and after a short stay of a few days in triage, those being treated move on to one of the mission's farms just outside the city, where they take care of their home and the animals that live there. The routine and the religious community built during this time, those helped by the mission say, are what make the difference and give people the strength to stay off the streets and away from crack.