Brazil, Drug Regulations, Public Policy



  1. de Souza, Jacqueline RN, PHD
  2. Fiorati, Regina C. OT, PHD
  3. Macedo, Maraiza M. RN, MSN
  4. de Macedo, Jaqueline Queiroz RN, MSN, PHD


Abstract: Since 2004, Brazilian policy makers have been making some changes in the drug policies. It has prioritized a harm reduction perspective instead of a prohibitionist one. Nevertheless, this latter perspective also persists in some parts of the policies and strategies used to deal with this phenomenon in Brazil. This study aims to analyze the structure of the drug policies in Brazil. It is a documental search of Brazilian mental health legislation (laws, decrees, and ordinances) regarding alcohol and other drugs since 2001. The analysis focused on prevention, assistance, and supply control axes. There was a predominance of assistance, which focuses on development of treatment services. Documents have focused more on crack cocaine than on other drugs which have more impact on public health. Scientific evidence competes with partisan political issues and values and the opinions of different actors. The results suggest that it is necessary to have a solid scientific foundation, clearer technical operational aspects, and an evaluation strategy for mental health services to systematize and analyze the implemented policies.