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SMAD. Revista eletrônica saúde mental álcool e drogas

On-line version ISSN 1806-6976

SMAD, Rev. Eletrônica Saúde Mental Álcool Drog. (Ed. port.) vol.2 no.1 Ribeirão Preto Feb. 2006




Margarita Antonia Villar Luis Ph.D


Scientific and technological developments have stimulated the debate on the view of man as a biological being and his capacity to overcome this determination. Thus, this edition of SMAD starts with an article that presents a philosophical analysis of how human beings are conceived, ranging from their biological and openly determinist side to other characteristics and non-determinist aspects that support the idea of human autonomy, outlining a being whose complexity goes beyond the biological perspective. The discussion particularly focuses on scientific activity and the importance of keeping a totalizing view of man. This author's contribution reveals that this theme is able to arouse academic clashes in the old European continent as well.

The social support network of psychoactive substance addicts is characterized as a strategic health care problem, as discussed in the second article. The authors observe the lack of support offered to users. This is a source of concern as, without access to appropriate services, trained professionals and structured support programs, it will be hard for chemical dependents to adhere to treatment and be reinserted in their family and social environment.

As a professional category, nurses are frequently confronted with situations related to the use of legal or illegal psychoactive substances. However, research has identified the lack of specific training to recognize and handle consumption-related problems. The third article discusses nursing companies required for generalist and specialized activities in this area and suggests strategies for competency development. This experience from the United States can provide important indicators on how other countries can cope with this problem, making the necessary local adjustments.

Within this same line of nursing care competencies, the fourth article presents the experience of a Damage Reduction Program in Brazil, centered in cross-cultural nursing premises. Drugs consumers' common use of injection needles is part of a context that requires professionals to understand drugs use as a phenomenon with multiple determinants, and that injectable drugs users need a particular approach that goes beyond professionals' conception of technical procedure.

Alcohol abusers frequently enter health services through the emergency room. The fifth article confirms that this fact, common in Brazil, is also present in Mexican health institutions. Results showed higher incidence levels among young adult men with hazardous consumption patterns. These findings confirm that nursing is a key sector for interventions involving patients and professionals attending this clientele.

The last article reports on the use of a projective data collection instrument, using drawings and associating phrases with these images. This tool was used with nurses at a psychiatric care unit and focuses on their representations of mental patients' sexuality. Besides the importance of this theme (generally ignored by health teams), this paper also discusses the instrument itself, allowing researchers to apply it in other situations involving health professionals and service users.

This issue of SMAD covers a wide range of themes, so as to attend the interests of all readers. We look forward to receiving your contribution.

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