IT is believed that nine out of 10 alcoholics in Spain are not in treatment and do not seek help in fear of what others may think.
Head of the Alcoholics Unit at the Hospital Sant Joan in Alicante, Psychiatrist Bartolome Perez Galvez, said: “The key is the stigma that still surrounds alcohol abuse and when they do seek help they are already badly damaged.”
To further analyse the stigma surrounding alcohol consumers and other drugs, Hospital Sant Joan is participating in an international multi-centre study, whose principal investigators include a Professor of Psychology of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) of Brazil and Bartolome Perez Galvez, who is also Professor of Psychiatry at the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) in Elche.
The objective of this research, which will develop in parts of Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay) and Spain, is to analyse the process of stigmatisation of users of alcohol and other drugs in those countries: “We also want to see how this process affects the personal characteristics of patients, such as coping skills, depression, anxiety and quality of life” added Perez Galvez: “Also, we want to identify how stigma processes may be related to social determinants, such as race, poverty and violence.” The results between the participating schools will be compared, “which will strengthen the exchange between them and the integration of health systems.”
To participate in this study, Hospital Sant Joan is selecting 200 patients within the first month of treatment with the other countries assessing 100 patients.
The investigation will last for one year.