Mental and behavioral disorders cause great individual and social suffering, affecting 450 million people all over the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 25% of people develop one or more mental disorders at some point in their lives. In this condition, they are victims of human rights violations, social isolation, low quality of life and increased mortality, besides the economic and social cost this reality represents.
The World Health Organization emphasizes the impact of neuropsychiatric disorders, measured by DALY’s – disability adjusted years of life – which represent 13.8%, rising up to 33% when joining all mental and behavioral disorders and related factors, constituting four of the six main causes.
In a picture with these dimensions, mental health care is a growing need, given the complexity of needs and the population involved. The problem goes beyond the health area and demands interventions that are articulated in a broader sense in the field of public policies.
According to the World Health Organization, in basic care, the most common diagnoses are depression, anxiety and substance-related disorders, which are present in combination with physical disorders or not. Depression affects about 15% of the adult population. In a one-year period, a clinic is estimated to attend consultations motivated by anxiety disorders in 12% of women and 6% of men. It is also highlighted that at least 20% of people around the world develop abuse or dependence on some substance in the course of their lives.
That is the context of SMAD, a journal that, in recent years, has constituted a qualified space to publish scientific research on mental health, alcohol and other drugs.
In this issue, the articles come from a wide range of states and countries, such as Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná, Minas Gerais and Mato Grosso do Sul), Mexico and Colombia, and reflect multidisciplinary research results, picturing the complexity of themes in the field of mental health and drugs addiction.
In view of the challenges faced by the scientific community that researches on the Journal’s central theme, this issue publishes an important contribution by Dr. Rubens de Camargo Ferreira Adorno, who presents a consistent discussion about the contexts of violence and alcohol and drugs consumption, and the need not to establish deterministic relations between these contexts, directing the focus of studies towards the need for more in-depth discussion about social risk reduction.
The articles published basically follow two lines. The first addresses the relations between alcohol and other drugs at different stages in life, that is, during school age and adolescence, privileging the focus on self-esteem, nursing diagnoses and profile, family conceptions, consumption pattern, addicts’ life history and propaganda and apology for consumption. The second line is directed at the historical approach, with one article about the recognition of the psychiatrist Jurandyr Manfredini among students from the School of Nursing Alfredo Pinto (1954-1955), who granted him the first denomination of their Academic Board. Another article discusses alcoholism and madness in Lima Barreto, emphasizing his thinking weighed by eugenic theories that associated racism, alcoholism, moral decadence and alcohol addicts’ genetic predisposition to madness.
To the readers, SMAD offers both the opportunity to access these articles and the invitation to submit their research results to the Journal.
Luciane Prado Kantorski, RN, PhD
Federal University of Pelotas.