Knowing professionals' attitudes is the basis for the development of skills for dealing with drug dependence. These attitudes may affect patients' clinical safety and the cost-benefit ratio of the interventions. The goal of this study was to assess emergency and mental health nurses' attitudes and perceptions towards alcoholics. A multicenter prospective descriptive study was conducted in six hospitals with 167 emergency and mental health nurses. Nurses classified alcoholics as sick individuals, although there was a tendency to feel uncomfortable working with them. Results indicated that these professionals had a rejecting attitude towards moderate alcohol consumption. It found that there was a significant association between the attitude of the nurse and gender, with the degree of rejection towards the alcoholic being higher in men than in women, and with less punitive attitudes in professionals with 0 to 11 years of professional experience.
Keywords: alcoholism; drug-dependents; health professionals’ attitudes; social perception.