Users of alcohol and other drugs residing in the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo: Basis for the planning of a treatment system
To estimate the need for population-level services for alcohol and other drug abuse in support of local planning, data were drawn from a sub-sample of 2,942 interviewees from the São Paulo Megacity population survey. This population was classified into five hierarchical categories of severity, combining criteria regarding drug and alcohol use and general and mental health comorbidities. For the at-risk groups in this population, estimates for the Potential Demand for the Use of Services over the last year were generated. The resulting estimates indicated that a significant number of individuals met criteria for substance use disorders, but either do not perceive any need for professional help or neglect the help available. In conclusion, in the São Paulo region there exists a large sector of the population which could benefit from secondary prevention strategies as well as a smaller but significant group requiring more complex care.