Psychoactive Substances and the Provision of Specialized Care:
The Case of Espirito Santo
Marluce Miguel de Siqueira, Dulce A. Barbosa, Ronaldo Laranjeira, Kristine Hopkins
Psychoactive substance (PAS) consumption is present throughout the world, unleashing diverse impacts on the individual, family and society. A 2002 World Health Organization1 report indicated that 8.9% of the global load of illnesses result from the consumption of PAS, with tobacco accounting for 4.1%, alcohol for 4% and illicit drugs for 0.8% of the global disease load. In the Americas and Europe, more than half of the population had used alcohol some time in their life (NIAAA, 1998; and WHO, 1999)2,3 and around a quarter smoke (WHO, 2000)4. Illicit drugs reach 4.2% of world’s population (UNODCCP, 2000; WHO, 2004)
The social and health problems related to the consumption and dependence of legal and illicit drugs currently are well known and considered a significant public health challenge. This challenge requires the attention of decision markers and the creation of appropriate public policies, as well as the involvement of representatives of all the segments of society: politicians, legislators, researchers, health professionals, and civil society groups (Sacardo, 2003; BRAZIL, 2003)7,8.
In the last ten to fifteen years, the Brazilian government has attempted to implement strategies to reduce the demand and supply of drugs. These policies have centered on integrating several social sectors, such as education, health, social work, sports, justice, and public security (BRAZIL, 2001; 2003; 2004a, 2004b)7,9-11. The prime example of this approach is National Antidrug Policy (Política Nacional Antidrogas – PNAD), whose objectives are the reduction of the demand and supply of drugs and are focused on, for the user, prevention, treatment, recuperation, reintegration into society, reduction of damages; law enforcement; and support for research and evaluation of existing programs and treatment models.