Teenage Health

Advice about alcohol and drugs in Brazil, as well as information about the Brazilian attitude to teenagers’ sexual health and pregnancy...

Emergency and Support

Service Contact
Support for children and adolescents
(Centro de Referência da Criança e Adolescente - CERCA)
Tel: (11) 3104 4850
Adolescent's helpline (Disque Adolescente) Tel: (11) 3819 2022
Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoólicos Anônimos) Tel: (11) 3315 9333
Narcotics Anonymous (Narcóticos Anônimos) Tel: (11) 3101 9626
Suicide/Crisis helpine (Samaritans) Tel: 141

Teenagers and Alcohol

The legal minimum age to purchase alcohol is eighteen. Brazil does not have as serious a social problem with alcohol and teenagers as in some countries.

Teenagers and Drugs

Drugs used predominantly in Brazil are marijuana (maconha) and cocaine. Marijuana is grown locally and is easy to find. As it is often smoked pure in unfiltered cigarettes, the effect can be powerful.

Huge quantities of Bolivian grown and processed cocaine pass through the Santa Cruz region into Brazil via the Pantanal region. From here it travels to the ports of Santos and Rio de Janeiro and then to other countries by ship. Being on a major supply route means cocaine is readily available and cheap in Brazil.

As the purer product is usually exported, street cocaine has often been cut heavily with a range of other substances, some of which could be harmful in their own right.

Crack cocaine is less of a problem than in other countries and heroin abuse is virtually unheard of due to lack of availability.

Teenagers and Pregnancy

The age of consent in Brazil is fourteen, however, a minor or parent of a child aged 14 to 18 may press charges for corruption of minors.

Abortion is illegal except in cases of rape or incest or if the life of the pregnant woman is at risk.

Contraceptive methods are not always used (although high visibility public awareness campaigns and mandatory sex education in schools exist), which leads to a high incidence of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.