Substance or drug abuse refers to the taking substances for reasons other than medical. This may include; too much, wrong use, in a wring combination with other drugs, for too long, with an aim of enhancing the overall mental, social, physical and financial effect. Drug abuse is harmful to the health of the abusers. As health practitioner’s, nurses have an obligation to help addicts through their addiction and withdrawal periods. When a drug addiction patient is admitted to a hospital, nurses have a moral obligation and duty to take care of the patient.
According to the clinical model, substance users are sick because they show symptoms and signs that are similar to those of sick persons. Addicts, such as alcohol and bhang addicts, lack the necessary working ability and are therefore dependent on parents and guardians for their welfare. They cannot fulfil their social roles adequately. Addicts find it hard to adapt to the external environment; to them, the world is constant and never changes. Despite being gifted, drug users are unable to realize their full potential (Smith 1981).
Most of the nurses’ job involves teaching the addicts on the dangers of drug abuse and informing them of the treatment options that are available to them. Considering that drug addiction is a physical and mental disease, the nurses must have training in both mental and general medicine health. In addition, the nurses must specialize in pain treatment, which is common with most of the addicts during the withdrawal stage.
The nurses must determine the toxicity in the blood of the patient in order to come up with a suitable plan for each patient. Group therapies are one of the ways of treating drug abuse, and although a psychiatric social worker conducts it, nurses must attend the function as a supervisor. Such therapies are aimed at motivating, giving relapse motivation skills to the patient among other functions. Detoxification and subsequent rehabilitation are solely the functions of the nurse. In detoxification, the nurse provides detox medicine to the patient and helps in treating any symptomatic diseases. In rehabilitation, the nurses encourages the patient to participate in long term plans, helps the patient to identify alternative forms of pleasure and liaises with the victim’s family.
Nurses must monitor both the emotional and physical responses of the patient to any treatment, in addition to providing reassurance to the patient during anxiety periods. The nurse must help the patient to identify and understand the causes of dependence on substances and the need for life changes. The nurse must also restrict the addict’s access to substances. The nurses must approach their patients in a non-punitive and non-judgmental manner, and handle any violations of rules by the patient efficiently and effectively. The nurse must also advice the patient on the procedures to follow, and their general behaviour after being discharged from hospital. (Walsh et al 2007)
Monmouth County, New Jersey has identified lavish lifestyle as the major health risk factor in the country. This is due to the following key facts about health in the county. The rate of diabetes stands at 6%, the obesity rate at 17%, and high blood pressure rate at 25%. The smoker risk factor is at 20.3% and no exercise is at 22%. The above five are identified as major health risk factors in the county that need to be solved urgently. A look at the five shows that the above problem can be alleviated if members of the county change their lifestyle (Monmouth County).
Obesity and high blood pressure are related diseases with studies showing that more than 50% of obese people in the world suffer from high blood pressure at one point in their lives. These two diseases are mainly due to consumption of unhealthy foods and a lack of exercise. Here is another startling statistic: more than 60% of school going children either take the bus to school or are driven by their parents, majority of adults either drive to work or use buses. This means that a very small percentage of people walk to work or school. In this regard, administrators have embarked on the construction of sidewalks along major roads in the county. This will allow children and adults to either walk or cycle to school and work (Monmouth County). The sidewalks will also ensure that those who cannot do the above get somewhere to jog before their daily activities.
Although the rate of smoking in the county has gone down significant over the last decade in the county, the more than 20% smoking risk rate is alarming, raising the need for awareness on the harmful effects of smoking. While it is known that diabetes is a disease of the old, young people in the county are suffering from the disease mainly because of consumption of unhealthy foods. Health organizations in the county occasionally conduct smoking and diabetes awareness campaigns urging the residents to abandon their current lifestyle to a lifestyle that is beneficial to their health.
All age groups in Monmouth County, New Jersey need a lifestyle change. But perhaps, the groups that need training and education on their lifestyle choices are the middle aged, those between the ages of 20 and 60 years. Residents between these years are the once facing the highest lifestyle health risk. As an educator, I would make use of the following education strategies targeting this particular class of the population.
I would make use of one on one and face-to-face sessions to counsel the residents on the benefits of raising their physical activity in order to reduce terminal disease risk factors. This is because a separate one to one consultation on non-treatment physical activity is rated highly as a feasible strategy for physical activity promotion (Olsen 2010). I can accommodate more than one participant during the sessions, but the number would not go beyond five.
The second educational strategy I would employ are brochures, hand-outs and diaries. Residents are more likely to be receptive of my teachings especially on exercise, if they have prescribed and written programmes for their daily exercises. Brochures are aimed at providing accurate and appropriate information to various participants at different physical levels regarding the type of exercises that are fit for them. However, it does not end with the provision; I would also ensure that the participants indeed read the brochures by designing them in a readable format. The brochures would also contain useful information on the diseases and respective preventative measures, and any other relevant lifestyle and health information (Olsen 2010).
The last strategy I would make use of is motivational prompts. Lifestyle change, especially exercise and diet, are hard choices that require extra motivation to the participants. The prompts would not only be used to encourage exercise, but also give counselling on stress reduction, improved nutrition and smoke cessation.
The above educational strategies are non-exhaustive and others would be employed if and when the need arises.
The following websites are chosen for information on infants, children and teenagers: Kidshealth.org and youthhealthtalk.org. KidsHealth provides trusted information about teens and children that are free from doctor speak. The website gives information about behaviour, health and development of an individual from inception, through birth to teen years. In addition to giving health facts, the website provides parents with advice, perspectives and comfort regarding a wide range of behavioural, emotional and physical issues affecting teenagers and children. The website does this using prompts and tools such as games and animations. The information in the website must pass through a rigorous review by paediatricians and other relevant medical experts. The information is given in a concise and accurate manner using a simple and understandable language. The second website, Youthhealthtalk gives the youth, their friends and families, healthcare professionals and teachers to understand the experiences of the youth regarding illnesses, health and life. The website give real-life experiences and accounts on these and other issues such as work, education, relationships and social life…
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