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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


MOREIRA, Fernanda Gonçalves; SILVEIRA, Dartiu Xavier da  and  ANDREOLI, Sérgio Baxter. Situations related to drug misuse in public schools in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.40, n.5, pp.810-817. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To explore situations, attitudes and behavior of public elementary school education supervisors concerning psychoactive substance misuse. METHODS: The study was carried out in the city of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil, in 2002. Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire applied to eight key informants in the administrative area experienced in education supervision. Qualitative content analysis with ethnographic reference was conducted. RESULTS: Most discourses show that knowledge transmission is thought as essential for drug use prevention, though supervisors reported being ill-informed on this subject. The most frequent attitudes toward drug users are impotence and inability to act and sometimes a repressive attitude. These are motivated by misinformation and fear due to mistaken association of drug users and criminals. In situations indirectly related to drug abuse (family and behavior problems) more understanding and inclusive attitudes are reported, following the harm reduction paradigm. CONCLUSIONS: Theoretical capacity building of educators for preventive attitudes would support their skills developed through dealing with situations (in)directly related to drug abuse in schools. Thus, educators would feel more confident to make interventions for harm or risk reduction among drug users.

Keywords : Schools [manpower]; Health knowledge [attitudes, practice]; Substance-related disorders [prevention & control]; Health education; Qualitative research.

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