Ronzani TM, Higgins-Biddle J, Furtado EF.
Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Department of Psychology, rua constantino paleta, 30/404, 36015-450 Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
This study reports on the views of Primary Health Care (PHC) providers in Southeast Brazil on the use of alcohol and other drugs which reflect stigma, moralization, or negative judgment. Six hundred nine PHC professionals from the Brazilian states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais took part in the study. The majority (86.5%) of these professionals were female. Attitudes toward the use of alcohol and other drugs were evaluated in comparison to Hansen’s disease, obesity, depression, schizophrenia, HIV/AIDS, and tobacco use. The use of tobacco, marijuana/cocaine, and alcohol were the most negatively judged behaviors (p < 0.05). Nursing assistants and community health care workers demonstrated the severest judgment of alcohol use. In addition, marijuana/cocaine addicts and alcoholics suffered the highest rate of rejection by professionals. The hypothesis that the use of alcohol and other drugs is a behavior stigmatized by health professionals being confirmed, it is important to develop strategies for changing provider attitudes in order to provide a higher quality of service to these patients. This study is important as a first study among PHC professionals about social stigma of alcohol and other drugs users.