background: the evaluation of craving is very important to treatment of cocaine dependence and the cross-cultural adaptations of scales are needed for increase effectiveness in the evaluation and treatment of them. objective: the objective of this study was to translate, to adapt culturally and verify the semantic equivalence of the cocaine craving questionnaire - brief (ccq-brief), which evaluates the craving for cocaine. method: the ccq-brief was translated from english to portuguese, administered to 10 persons, and then submitted to brainstorming in a group of 4 persons for individual and verbal reproduction, item by item. backtranslation was executed based on first translation and from brainstorming to the origin language. soon after, it was translated again into portuguese. all the process was analyzed by a committee of specialists, which emitted a decision and the pertinent comments. results: considering the decision of the specialists and one last pilot study, was constructed of the final brazilian version of the ccq-brief and the version adapted that scale for crack users. discussion: results indicated a satisfactory semantic equivalence between versions and the ccq-brief that may be important in the treatment of the cocaine dependents.