Sample Nursing Essays on Alcohol and Substance Abuse Among Adolescents

Several issues affect adolescents in contemporary society. Ranging from traditional issues such as alcohol and substance abuse and teenage pregnancies to recent issues such as cyber addiction, today’s youths face a wide range of issues. Alcohol and substance abuse is an issue that has affected past generations of youths and continues to adversely affect the modern generation of youth. Alcohol and substance abuse, in the modern world, is further exacerbated by the existence of several avenues through which the youth are exposed to alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and substance abuse is a pervasive problem among the youth hence requires a multi-dimensional approach to be solved effectively.

Alcohol and substance abuse is a big problem among the modern youthful population and involves the abuse of alcohol and drugs by the youth.  Numerous external stressors are associated with the issue of alcohol and drug abuse among the youth. Peer pressure is the most pertinent external stressor that is associated with abuse of alcohol and drugs among the youth. The youth are highly susceptible to peer pressure and external influence and this is a huge risk factor with regard to alcohol and drug abuse among the youthful population (Belenko et al., 2017). Peer pressure, defined as influence from an individual’s close associates, drives most adolescents to use drugs and partake in alcohol as they do not want to be termed outsiders by their peers (Belenko et al., 2017). Family-related issues also have a big influence on the issue of alcohol and substance abuse among the youth. Paquette et al. (2019) argues that youths are largely influenced by what they see their parents or elder siblings do and when someone older in their family set-up is involved in the use of both alcohol and drugs adolescents are highly likely to abuse drugs. The constant exposure of the youth to alcohol and substance use by both traditional media and contemporary social media is also an external stressor on the issue of substance abuse among the youth. The modern media through adverts and movies expose the youth to the use of drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol by portraying the vice as cool and suave.

Multiple assessment strategies can be used in the screening of alcohol and substance abuse among adolescents. The most efficient assessment strategy is the use of self-report and collateral information with regard to substance abuse. The use of self-report involves a trained professional asking an individual youth involved in the abuse of alcohol and drugs pertinent questions with regard to his or her addiction. The questions may include how long one has used drugs and how one ingests the said drugs. The self-report and collection of collateral information assessment strategy is quite effective as it makes the individual patient open up on his addiction and therefore enables health professionals to come up with relevant medical interventions. The other assessment strategy may include the use of a urine or blood test. This involves the extraction of a patient’s drug or urine sample which is then subjected to tests by a medical expert to determine whether the patient has used drugs in the near past (Belenko et al., 2017). However, the assessment strategy involving extraction and testing of an individual’s blood or urine samples is not effective as it does not provide relevant information as to the individual patient’s history with regard to drug use history. With regard to the self-report assessment strategy, a medical practitioner can ask an individual adolescent patient diagnosed with drug addiction to issue any question he or she deems relevant to the medical intervention needed by the individual patient. For instance, the practitioner can ask the individual about his or her family background, the kind of friends he or she hangs around with, and the type of hobbies the individual is interested in. Answers from the above questions may help the medical practitioner to tailor an addicted adolescent’s treatment interventions to the adolescent’s needs and lifestyle. The self-report assessment strategy is however regulated by various ethical parameters more so those regarding legality and confidentiality (Paquette et al., 2019). Therefore, the medical expert will be guided by the medical ethics regarding patient confidentiality on what he or she can share with the parents of the adolescent who is hooked to drugs.

Adolescents who abuse alcohol and drugs require well-tailored support intervention systems and programs aimed at rehabilitating and restoring them to their previous drugs-free lives. Formation of youth support groups that aim at rehabilitating young drug addicts such as Alcoholics Anonymous is an efficient method of not only supporting the youth but also of addressing the issue of alcohol and substance abuse among the youth. The government should also incorporate the element of civic education of the youth on the dangers of drugs and substance abuse in its policies. The government should come up with policies that ensure that youths are safeguarded from alcohol and drug abuse by incorporating civic education on drugs and alcohol in the national education curriculums. Incorporation of civic education on drugs and substance abuse into the national education curriculum will ensure the youth have a strong foundation with regard to the effects of alcohol and substance abuse. The government can also reign in on the exposure of the youth to drugs and substance abuse by the various forms of media by enacting rules regulating the advertisement and airing of the sue of drugs and alcohol.

 

 

References

Belenko, S., Knight, D., Wasserman, G. A., Dennis, M. L., Wiley, T., Taxman, F. S., & Sales, J. (2017). The Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health Services Cascade: A new framework for measuring unmet substance use treatment services needs among adolescent offenders. Journal of substance abuse treatment74, 80-91.

Paquette, C. E., Magidson, J. F., Swaminath, S., & Daughters, S. B. (2019). Substance Use Disorders. In Diagnostic Interviewing (pp. 325-347). Springer, New York, NY.