Vulnerable Populations Paper: Substance Abuse

Topics: Addiction, Drug addiction, Substance abuse Pages: 5 (1828 words) Published: August 3, 2010
Vulnerable Populations Paper: Substance Abuse
Substance abuse disorders is easily defined when an “individual continues to use the substance despite experiencing negative consequences from their use. These negative consequences can include health problems; difficulties in their family, work, and social life; and financial and legal problems. They are said to be dependent on the substance when,” in addition to theses negative consequences, they build tolerance and experience withdrawal if they stop using the drug” (Martin, 2007, p. 265). Substance abuse dates back to the early Americans colonies with beer that was brought over by the pilgrims and more popularly the ratification of the Constitution to prohibit the use of alcohol (“Alcohol Prohibition timeline“, n.d.). Signs of substance abuse can come in many forms starting with social problems like loss of employment, withdrawal from family, friends, and loved ones, and irrational thoughts including actions that contribute to the user behaving criminally, and many health problems (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adolescent and School Health [CDC], 2009). Demographics for the user vary from the type of substance being used, cultural background, and family genetics, and for the need to feel accepted (Tracy, 2005). Common clinical issues before treatment can begin is the client must first believe that he has a problem (Martin, 2007). As intervention, a human service worker can counsel the substance abuser friends and family member with not enabling the abuser (Martin, 2007). One of many ideas and discussions for future considerations of the issue of substance abuse is counseling and starting teaching at the adolescent level the harmful effects of drug use. History of the Population

Substance use can be dated back to the beginning of this country with the pilgrims bringing kegs of beer on the Mayflower and by 1657 a rum distillery operating in Boston (“Alcohol Prohibition timeline“, n.d.). Alcohol and drugs use was accepted widely and used socially, medically, and for religious uses (Tracy, 2005). Substance use of opium, laudanum, and other opiates and its medical use that are regulated with the formation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and at the same time were able to criminalize the non-medical use of the same drugs (Martin, 2007). Prohibition

Prohibition was amended through the Constitution and a ban on alcohol started from 1919 and lasted until 1933 (Johnson, 2006). Prohibition was created as a prevention strategy to help control the issues early America had with its increase use of substance abuse and public displays of over drinking. The failure of prohibition was the beginning in history for substance education and the beginning of using terms such as alcoholism. Substance Abuse Treatment Formations

The word alcoholism was created by Magnus Huss a physician in 1849 (Martin, 2007). Approximately one hundred years later Alcoholics Anonymous “a fellowship of men and women” was formed (Martin, 2007, p. 257). Founded in 1935 by Dr. Bob and Bill simply stated “Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from alcoholism” (AA, n.d.). In 1963 Marty Mann founded the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism and Information Centers within the National Institute on Mental Health (Johnson, 2006). This formation was in an effort of government becoming involved with harm prevention of substance abuse. The Nature of the Social Problems or Issues Experienced

The substance abuse problem is not just focused at the user it also affects those close to the user such as friends, family members, and society as a whole. Abusing alcohol contributes to about seventy five thousand deaths per year, forty one percent of which is from...
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