Use of licit and illicit substances among adolescents in Brazil

25 de junho de 20122min

Clarice S. Madruga, Ronaldo Laranjeira, Raul Caetano, Ilana Pinsky, Marcos Zaleski, Cleusa P. Ferri

Brazil is theifth most populated country in the world with 20% of its population aged between 15 and 24 years old (IBGE, 2000). No special license is required to sell alcohol in the country, where it is extremely cheap and readily available. There are national laws to prevent the under aged from buying beverages, yet they are scarcely enforced. A slightly different scenario is seen regarding tobacco use. Changes in the law have broadly restricted advertising and innovative anti-smoke campaigns are taking place (Instituto Nacional de Cancer, 2009). However, the increasing gross domestic product (GDP) should negatively affect any possible improvement those campaigns could achieve (Menezes et al., 2009). The World Health Organization (WHO, 2002) reported that not only are increasing numbers of young people in developing countries resorting to licit and illicit substances for recreation and excitement but problems associated with the use of illegal drugs are also on the rise. The use of illegal psychotropic substances among adolescents has also become a major social and health problem in Brazil (Batistoni, Neri, & Cupertino, 2000).

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Sobre a UNIAD

A Unidade de Pesquisa em álcool e Drogas (UNIAD) foi fundada em 1994 pelo Prof. Dr. Ronaldo Laranjeira e John Dunn, recém-chegados da Inglaterra. A criação contou, na época, com o apoio do Departamento de Psiquiatria da UNIFESP. Inicialmente (1994-1996) funcionou dentro do Complexo Hospital São Paulo, com o objetivo de atender funcionários dependentes.