Nurses strive to keep patients safe at all times. However, patients do not always follow the care plan in or out of the hospital. Patients arrive at the Emergency Room in a traumatic situation. Addiction seems to be one of the most prevalent reasons in these hard times.
The word addiction is often associated with narcotics or street drugs. However, addiction comes in many forms including alcohol and tobacco. The use of addictive substances is not new. Historically, the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs has been cultural in nature and passed on through each generation. Culturally, people would drink alcohol at gatherings, after a hard day at work or with dinner. Tobacco was common place in many areas and an acceptable habit particularly for men.
Attitudes towards drugs and alcohol have shifted over the years. People’s perception depends on the way their culture views the use of drugs and alcohol. At one time, people who smoked or drank were considered sophisticated. The increase in addiction has changed the shift to attitudes of intolerance and sometimes disgust for those with a problem.
Healthcare workers are often faced with the task of initially helping those with addictions. The health risks associated with addiction are various. Health education is the primary response to a solution. Programs such as DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) have attempted to reach communities specifically children.The secondary prevention is screening for addiction. Many institutions have questionnaires and physical testing to identify addiction. The third preventive measure is treating the addiction. Treatment can be very daunting for both the addicted person and the family. Detoxification is not only a mental hardship but also affects the person physically. Regardless of the treatment, only the addicted person can stay “clean” from the abuse.
Why do people become addicted when education about addiction is readily available?
Watch the following video and examine your own thoughts.
Part 3a. What are the attitudes of health care providers toward clients with substance abuse problems? Are health care providers alert to signs and symptoms of substance abuse? What health system factors contribute to substance abuse? Would you say that you are typical of most health care providers? Do you identify with the criminal justice model towards substance abuse or the harm reduction model?
Part 3b. What are your thoughts on the video?