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Substance Use

Posted by Beatrice Melbon on July 29, 2021

Drug and alcohol abuse is an equal opportunity condition. The abuse of drugs manifests several associated social problems across ages, cultures, gender, religions and races. Despite the thread of drug abuse being traceable throughout the humankind history, initiatives towards the identification of the main causes seems to continue eluding the wide scientific community. Substance abuse is associated to various social challenges, such as, though not limited to, domestic violence, chronic illness, crime, homelessness, child abuse, mental health and aging. Individuals abuse substances, such as alcohol and tobacco, for their own complicated and different reasons, which are not often clear. However, it is clear that the price drug abusers pay is considerable and exerts pain and suffering that is extremely difficult to quantify. Community agencies, emergency departments, primary care physicians and hospitals are overwhelmed with the social problems caused by substance abuse. In this regard, this paper discusses the treatment, and impact of substance abuse. The following article was created by essay writing service
Description of Substance Abuse
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) defines substance abuse as a pattern of persistent use of drugs, which results into harmful effects. These harmful effects might involve the failure of the one to meet his or her major responsibilities in life, putting oneself in circumstances where substance use is physically dangerous, repeatedly encounters with law, or having interpersonal or social problems.
Despite the progress being made in significantly decreasing the substance abuse rates in the U.S., the use of behavior- and mind-altering substances continues taking toll on health of families, individuals and communities. Drug abuse, involving the use of alcohol or drugs, is linked to a wide range of negative social conditions, such as financial problems, family disruptions, the failure at school and lost productivity. In addition, both legal and social reactions to the abuse of substances make this social problem one of the most sophisticated public health issues. Approximations of the total overall costs of drug abuse in the U.S., such as crime- and health-related costs, exceed 600 billion dollars yearly.
According to Healthy People 2020, substance abuse remains a serious problem for many Americans of all ages. The most vulnerable group is children and adolescents. In 2006, studies indicated that averagely 7970 youths consumed alcohol, 4348 consumed illicit drugs, 2517 used pain relievers non-medically, and 4082 smoked cigarettes. The findings of HealthPeople2020 also revealed that daily use of marijuana increased among students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades between 2009 and 2010. Among these student categories, the use of marijuana was the highest one in among the 12graders.
Another age group facing the social problems of drug abuse is adults; individuals aged between 18 and 25 years had the highest rate on substance abuse in 2009, at about 21 per cent. This was significantly driven by the increased use of marijuana among adults. About 41.7 per cent of young adults aged between 18 and 25 years, 36.3 per cent of adults aged between 26 and 34 years, and about 19.2 per cent of individuals aged 35 years or older reported a binge drinking in 2009.
The etiology of substance abuse is not clear. However, there are several factors, which are perceived to play a significant role in causing substance abuse. Genetic seems to be associated with substance abuse. For instance, the risk of substance abuse problems is higher among people with family members with such problems. The environment of an individual, such as work, friends, cultural and religious beliefs, and family can also result in substance abuse. Certain mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, might also play a significant role. Substance abuse might also commence when an individual tries to deal with unpleasant emotions and feelings, such as sadness, stress and anger. Individuals who are subject to discrimination might also be vulnerable to substance abuse.
Treatment Models Available
All drug abuse treatment models should have in place necessary procedures for screening, evaluating, and referring victims. It is the role of every provider to be capable of identifying individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders, and make sure that they have an access to the care required. Some of the discussed treatment care models include physical and mental health consultation, prescription of an onsite psychiatrist, medication and medication monitoring, and psychoeducational classes.
Physical and Mental Health Consultation
According to Sacks & Ries, any drug abuse program should incorporate consultations for a diagnosis, medication and assessment into treatment services. Adding a clinical specialist with robust diagnostic skills and expertise in working victims of drug abuse can significantly help in delivering the treatment. Psychiatrists offer services critical in sustaining recovery and stable functioning for the persons suffering from substance abuse. If the lack of funding prevents the treatment of substance abuse, the social worker should establish a collaborative relationship with health agency in order to offer these services.
Prescription of an Onsite Psychiatrist
Using an onsite psychiatrist in a substance abuse setting in order to assess and prescribe medication for persons suffering from it has been cited to enhance treatment retention and reduce substance abuse. Such psychiatrists offer diagnostic, psychiatrist counseling services, and medication directly to a patient at their location. According to Sacks & Ries, this treatment model frequently is the most efficient way of overcoming barriers related to offsite referral, such as travel and distance limitations. The prescription of an onsite psychiatrist treatment model is a recommended and useful step that drug abuse treatment agencies can take in order to offer integrated treatment services.
Medication and Medication Monitoring
Several drug abusers need medication in order to regulate their psychiatrist symptoms, and to stabilize their psychiatric conditions. The significance of stabilizing the individual on psychiatric medication is presently established in a drug abuse treatment field. A role of a psychiatric social worker working in the drug abuse treatment environment is to offer psychiatric medication based on a diagnosis and assessment of the patient, with the consequent regular contact and review of medication. Such activities of the psychiatrist comprise of the careful review and monitoring of medication conformance.
Psychoeducational Classes
Drug abuse programs can significantly help persons suffering from this condition by offering psychoeducational classes such as the ones described in this paper. Classes on mental and substance abuse disorders can significantly help in the treatment. These classes essentially focus on the symptoms and signs of mental disorders, medication, and impacts of mental disorders on substance abuse problems. Sacks & Ries have pointed out that the psychoeducational classes of this kind improve the awareness of the patient of the specific problems. Certain mental health institutions have synopses of mental disorders for patients in factual terms. Another recommended psychoeducational class is a relapse intervention. These classes aim at making the patient aware of the triggers or cues making them more likely to abuse drugs, and assist them develop alternative coping responses to such cues. Some mental health providers have proposed the use of mood logs, which substance abusers can use to improve their consciousness of the situational factors underlying the urge to use a drug.
Impacts of Substance Abuse
The effects of drug abuse can be approached from several perspectives: impacts on an individual, impacts on friends and family, and impacts on the society.
Impacts on the Individual
Individuals abusing drugs experience a range of physical effects. The excitement caused by the use of the drug, for instance, is often followed by a period of fatigue, anxiety, depression and an acute desire for more drugs in order to lessen the feelings of crash. Certain substances, such as alcohol and marijuana, interfere with the motor control, and being the factors for several automobile accidents. Users of substances, such as marijuana and other hallucinogenic drugs, might experience flashbacks, or unwanted recurrences of the effects of the drug weeks or months after abuse. Prompt abstinence from certain substances lead to withdrawal symptoms. For example, the withdrawal from the use of heroin might cause muscle cramps, vomiting, convulsions, and delirium. Substance abuse has been linked to an increased sexual activity, which makes them vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases. Several drug abusers engage in illegal activities, including prostitution and burglary, in order to raise money to purchase drugs.
Impacts on Friends and Family
The obsession of the user with the drug, and its effects on the performance and mood, can result in marital problems and the poor work performance. Substance abuse can disrupt the family life and cause disruptive patterns of codependency. Out of love and fear of consequences, a spouse or the entire family inadvertently enables the user to continue abusing drugs by covering up, supplying money or denying there is a problem. Married women who are not substance abuser might be affected by problems linked to substance abusing spouses. The problems of male partners might affect women in the form of difficulties in interpersonal relationships, violence, instability, economic insecurity and child abuse.
Impacts on the Society
Substance abuse affects the society in several ways, both directly and indirectly. Direct impacts of substance abuse are immediate. For instance, occupational accidents have caused substance abusers to endanger the lives of other people at the workplace. More than highway deaths in the U.S. are related to the use of alcohol. An example of an indirect impact is a drug-related crime, which can disrupt neighborhoods because of violence among drug dealers. In certain neighborhoods, children are recruited as helpers or lookouts due to the lenient sentences given to juvenile criminals.
Substance abuse is a social problem that continues affecting several people at an individual, family and society levels. Substance abuse affects the society in several ways, both directly and indirectly. Drug abuse, involving the use of alcohol or drugs, is linked to a wide range of negative social conditions, such as financial problems, family disruptions, the failure at school and losing productivity. The environment of an individual, such as work, friends, cultural and religious beliefs, and family can be viewed as a main cause of substance abuse. Substance abuse treatment care models include physical and mental health consultation, prescription of an onsite psychiatrist, medication and medication monitoring, and psychoeducational classes.

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