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Substance Abuse Essay

1968 words - 8 pages

Introduction
Substance abuse is all too common within most populations, especially in a lower economic class. In fact, drugs are the new fashion craze. Designer drugs are now grabbing young adult’s attention and more attention in the older adult population as well. Some of the people that you may see on the streets would probably be your typical user, but there are some drugs that are being used by your everyday “girl or boy next door” types. When it comes to helping individuals that are abusing drugs, nurses can be the front line in aiding their care. Nurse can help these individuals with finding resources to help them, educate them about stopping the abuse of drugs, and how the government can help these individuals, as well. Nurses that are not familiar with individuals with substance abuse problems can be educated by laws, policies, what their role is in the care of these individuals, and by trying to get what the community itself provides, or what the state that they live in provides.

Expound on the Problem
Substance abuse is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance that is manifested by recurrence over a 12-month period (Mauer, 2009). According to Mauer (2009), approximately more than fifty seven million people older than 12 years of age are addicted to some type of addictive substance. The main scope of the problem is that it cannot be targeted to one group; substance abuse can be any age group, race, gender, culture, or social class (Mauer, Smith, 2009). Many people are under the impression that substance abuse is easy to overcome, when in fact for many substance abuse is a disease that is hard to cure. There are steps that an individual will go through before becoming addicted to a substance, such as illicit drugs, or alcohol. The first step almost everyone knows, which is the experimental stage or social use. The individual in this stage tries the substance, because of peer pressure or because they want to try it (Mauer, et al, 2009). This leads them to the second stage of addiction, which is the continuous use of the substance. The individual is using the substance because it makes them feel good, or changes their emotions that they are feeling (Mauer, et al, 2009). During this point, the individual is not using the substance socially anymore, but is using the substance as a need. The third stage is what clarifies the individual as an addict to the substance. In the third stage, the individual is dependent of the substance and cannot live without it (Mauer, Smith, 2009). The addiction becomes their life and some do not know how to come out of it. With the help of nurses, medical staff, and the government, their assistance can help those that are addicted. However, the problem with getting these individuals to get to these resources is that some might not like the laws that are involved or just do not know how to get to them.

Governmental Influence
There are many laws that encompass...

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