Some patients knowingly abuse the healthcare system to obtain drugs and substances, which only adds to the complexities of the substance misuse relationship with the medical community. In 2008, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported approximately 4.7 million Americans used pain medications for non-medical use within the last month (Fishbain et al., 2010). This statistic is only one indication of the substance misuse prevalence and its inherent demand on the medical community.
The medical community not only combats substance misuse in adult patients, but must also address misuse among adolescents. The years of adolescence are widely regarded as an age defined by curiosity and experimentation (Crome, 2004). Adolescents are continuously trying to identify with their world and engage in new experiences. Within this context, taking drugs and experimenting with such substances as alcohol and tobacco can be understood within a setting of normal behavior. The time of adolescence, however, is also signified with emotional stress and hormonal changes, which compel adolescents to act on the sake of their independence and want to engage with adult behaviors. In this instance, substance use can be seen as a way to conduct adult behaviors during youth; the lack of emotional maturity can lead adolescent users to misuse (Crome, 2004). The prevalence of misuse among adolescents is difficult to establish as many young people will not disclose illegal activity and cannot be included within the majority of government surveys (Crome, 2004).
Although precise prevalence is difficult to measure, the long-term use and misuse of substances by young people causes adverse effects to their health and community. Substance misuse in adolescents can lead to poor academic performance, impact social and interpersonal skills, inhibit individuals from employment, and cause lasting health effects (Crome, 2004). The negative consequences associated with substance misuse among adolescents raises questions about its impact on society. If the growing incidence of substance misuse within the adult population coincides with greater incidence among adolescents, how will this influence communities and societies? Poorer academic performance can translate to larger dropout rates, which can lessen an adolescent's potential to obtain employment. Upon employment, being under the influence of drugs and substances can cause poor job performance and impact the individual's ability to maintain steady work. How will these individuals contribute to society? Who suffers the economic loss and who pays for healthcare expenses? Substance misuse within the youth population produces more questions than answers. Substance misuse among adolescents causes profound concerns for local economies, healthcare resources, and societal structure. Directing attention towards prevention of abuse and misuse of substance for adolescents could be the greatest use of resources to reduce incidence of substance misuse and lessen the severity of proposed societal consequences.
A multidisciplinary approach is required to fully examine the multifactorial issue of substance misuse. Substance misuse is not only a medical issue, but encompasses lasting impacts on economies, healthcare resources, and societal structure. The very foundation of substance misuse is defined within prescription drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol and other substances. Although substance misuse has long been affecting the global population, the development of prescription pain killers and their subsequent mass distribution within the last sixty years has significantly increased the rate of substance misuse. The incidence of substance misuse raises interdisciplinary concerns regarding its influence on various aspects of human culture and society. When asking why individuals misuse substances, one can examine the historical and medical logic behind the human need for drugs and substances. The historical perspective offers insight into the longstanding human need to experience an altered state within our physiology. The medical component explains the higher incidence of drug misuse as a consequence of over medicating pain management patients with opioid therapy. The second question associated with substance misuse investigates the effect of substance misuse within the economy; who experiences the economic wealth and who experiences the economic downfall of substance misuse? The misuse of prescription drugs is associated with profits for pharmaceutical companies, and substance misuse is an economic burden for healthcare providers and patients.
The growing incidence of substance misuse makes one question its influence on the medical community. The vast number of individuals who misuse drugs and substances causes strain on healthcare professionals due to the high demand of medical resources to both combat misuse and inadvertently supply habitual substances. The substance misuse issue also has significant implications for the youth population. If the number of adolescent misusers increases, there could be a host of societal consequences ranging from increased use of medical resources to address long-term health issues, to the reduction in local economy due to unemployment. Substance misuse is a serious issue that has implications for a variety of disciplines that intersect and influence one another. Fully addressing the complexities of substance misuse requires examination from medical, economic, and societal viewpoints.
Crome, I. (2004). Young people and substance misuse. London, UK: Gaskell.
Fishbain, D., Johnson, S., Webster, L., Greene, L., & Faysal, J. (2010). Review of regulatory programs and new opioid technologies in chronic pain management: balancing the risk of medication abuse with medical need. Jounral of Managed Care Pharmacy, 16(4), 276-287.
However, a different kind of problem may arise, when the counselor himself was a user and an addict, and has recovered fully from his addictions, to move on to become a legal counselor of others like him. (NIDA, Introduction and overview) Take for example, the case of when a drug abuse and substance abuse counselor was among the fifteen people who were arrested recently in Harlem. The police charged this
Substance Abuse Inside the Prison Walls: Controlling Illegal Drugs in Prison It is most often within the prison milieu that dependence and an addiction to drugs and other substances takes place. This is attributed to the various stress factors that an individual within the four walls of the prison is generally subjected to, and studies have shown that the risk of a person developing substance dependence, and an over representation of
The inclusion of alcohol and drug education is a vital component of most drug and alcohol abuse interventions, for both the users and non-user. (Montagne et al., 1992). This education can be offered as a preventive measure to beginners of abuse of substances of to the vulnerable group to save the future generations from the menace and the whole society from the drug's association with crime. Alternatively, it should be
Substance / Alcohol Abuse among the Elderly Substance/alcohol abuse among the elderly 60 years and older Alcohol and substance abuse among the elderly is a significant social problem, not only because people in this age group tend to have very permissive attitudes towards social drug and alcohol usage but also because the stressors that accompany aging may result in increases in drug or alcohol usage to problematic levels. While people may begin
Young People Misuse Substances The misuse of substances involves more than just taking illegal drugs. Youth can also get involved with prescription drugs (either theirs or someone else's), or they can focus on alcohol or other ways in which they can get high (Alexander, Kruszewski, & Webster, 2012). There are reasons why they do this, of course, but those reasons are often highly varied depending on the youth in question.
During the assessment the participant will be asked to disclose how often and how many incidences of substance abuse he or she has participated in during the last week. He or she will also be asked to disclose what substances have been used in that time frame. In addition the participant will participate in an interview in which he or she will provide a life history and a description of when