Huffpost WorldPost

Brazil: Crack Cocaine Program Gets $2 Billion Investment

Posted: Updated:
CRACKOLANDIA
A drug addict sleeps on the sidewalk at a street of 'Crackolandia,' a place where drug users addicted to crack cocaine have been gathering for the past seven years to smoke their freebase in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, on December 9, 2008. (MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty

BRASILIA, Brazil -- The Brazilian government says it will invest more than $2 billion to curb the spread of crack cocaine in Latin America's biggest country.

The Health Ministry says the government will invest 4 billion reals ($2.2 billion) in the program. That includes creation of a public health network focused on treating drug users.

The ministry's statement on Wednesday says that more than 300 medical offices will be set up to provide health care in urban areas with large numbers of drug users. Nearly 600 temporary shelters will be built to monitor the recovery of addicts.

The number of police officers patrolling high-consumption areas will be expanded and efforts to identify and arrest traffickers will be redoubled.