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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil is the world's largest consumer of crack cocaine, and the second largest consumer of cocaine and derivative drugs, after the United States, according to a study released Wednesday.
The study conducted by the Sao Paulo Federal University said Brazil represents 20 percent of the global cocaine market, with 6 million of Brazil's nearly 200 million residents having used cocaine, crack cocaine or other related drug at least once in their lives.
The study showed Brazil is the world's largest consumer of crack cocaine, the form of drug that is usually smoked, with 1 million residents using crack at least once in the past 12 months.
Some 2.6 million adults and 244,000 teenagers have tried cocaine in one of its forms at least once in the past year, said the study, with most users snorting cocaine in powder form.
In the United States, 4.1 million people used cocaine in the past year, according to the study.
A number of government anti-drug campaigns in recent years have tried to fight crack cocaine use, because of its high addiction rate and the fact it has become a major problem in several state capitals.
The study said most of Brazil's cocaine users tried the drug for the first time as minors, and a large percentage, 46 percent, live in the most populated cities in the southeast, home to Sao Paulo, Rio and other major metropolises.