Care network for alcohol and drug users: a descriptive research

Lirys Figueiredo Cedro1, Ândrea Cardoso de Souza1, Ana Lúcia Abrahão1
1Fluminense Federal University


Aims: to describe the health care network for drug users in a city in Rio de Janeiro, and analyze their movements in order to provide support to drug users. Method: this is a descriptive study, using a qualitative approach. Participants will be professionals associated with the psychosocial care network, excluding those working in primary institutions that do not provide care to drug users. Data will be collected through semi-structured and systemized interviews and subjected to thematic analysis. Expected results: support aimed to empower the care network for drug users. Health implications: to know how the network operates in terms of care for drug users. This will provide managers and health professionals with tools to make care more accessible to the drug-user population.

Descriptors: Mental health; Substance-Related disorders; Delivery of dealth care.


The psychosocial care network aims to provide drug users with care features in terms of different institutions and important proposals. However, users often find it difficult to access the service. Another issue is that health professionals are so concerned with creating a trajectory and services directed to users that they end up forgetting that those individuals have their own history and create their own connecting networks where they live. The network is an essential component of thinking about the psychosocial care of drug users. Health services are still organized according to the pyramidal hierarchies. Currently, this form of organization is being questioned; therefore, we propose to reconceptualize the health system as a circle, taking hospitals from the "being-on-top" position as suggested by the pyramid structure. Thinking of the health services as a circle enables us to place their relationship more horizontally. This logic is consistent with the idea that any health service is a of high technologically dense space, which should be available to citizens(1).

The performance in terms of public networks guides health care organizations(2). From this perspective networks must comply with the different realities of the subjects, as well as consider the resources available to their conformation in each location(2).


How has the organization of the health services provided access to care for drug users?


To describe the Care Network Health system with regard to users of alcohol, crack cocaine and other drugs in a city of Rio de Janeiro.

To analyze how the network operates in order to provide care to drug users


This study comes from a research project by the Labor Education Program (PET), Fluminense Federal University, which is the connection between the university with the services. The locus of the research is the public health system Psychosocial Care Center for the support of drug users, the Alcohol and Drug Service of the Jurujuba Psychiatric Hospital, the Family Health Program, and the Medical Office in Street.

This is a descriptive study adopting a qualitative approach. This proposal is based on the principle that users exploit the network in different places and in different ways.

Therefore, in order to understand this network, semi-structured interviews with professionals of the health care network for drug users will be undertaken. After the interviews, we will develop an analytical framework to clarify the workings of the health care networks, their movements, and the different ways in which they act and communicate. The data will be analyzed using thematic analysis. The research subjects are the public health care network professionals (network articulators in the region under consideration, primary care and psychosocial care professionals) in senior positions who are active in their support of drug users. The exclusion criterion is individuals who do not provide a health care service to drug users.

The study period in the fieldwork will take place between October 2014 and February 2015. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Fluminense Federal University, opinion No. 862,452.


  1. Abrahão AL, Souza ÂC, Senna MAA, Camuzi RC, Fernandes FLF. Care networks coordinating teaching and service in health: a descriptive study. Online braz j nurs [Internet]. 2013 October [Cited 2014 Aug 14]; 12(0): 686-689.Available from: http://www.objnursing.uff.br/index.php/nursing/article/view/4549.
  2. Rocha A, Martins A, Freire Jr. JC, Boulos, MNK, Vicente, ME, Feld R et al. Innovations in health care services: The CAALYX system. Int J Med Inform. 2013; (2013): 307-320.

All authors participated in the phases of this publication in one or more of the following steps, in According to the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, 2013): (a) substantial involvement in the planning or preparation of the manuscript or in the collection, analysis or interpretation of data; (b) preparation of the manuscript or conducting critical revision of intellectual content; (c) approval of the versión submitted of this manuscript. All authors declare for the appropriate purposes that the responsibilities related to all aspects of the manuscript submitted to OBJN are yours. They ensure that issues related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the article were properly investigated and resolved. Therefore, they exempt the OBJN of any participation whatsoever in any imbroglios concerning the content under consideration. All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest of financial or personal nature concerning this manuscript which may influence the writing and/or interpretation of the findings. This statement has been digitally signed by all authors as recommended by the ICMJE, whose model is available in http://www.objnursing.uff.br/normas/DUDE_eng_13-06-2013.pdf

Received: 11/24/2015 Revised: 02/16/2016 Approved: 02/16/2015