Qualitative exploratory study aimed to identify the social representations of nurses from specialist services in alcohol and other drugs compared to the addicts. The subjects were 16 nurses from 13 offices located in the city of São Paulo-SP. Data were collected through interviews which were recorded and analyzed according to the referential theory of social representations. The results showed that, in the nurses' representation, addicts are individuals suffering from a disease that has difficulty limits, and handlers are responsible for the development of dependence. We conclude that the representations of these professionals are sidewalks on common sense and point to strategies to face this problem and change these representations.
Community Mental Health Services; Nursing; Street drugs; Alcoholism