Substance abuse is a very widely known public epidemic in today's society. Many people are unfortunately plagued by this issue. According to Emedicinehealth.com (2012), “People abuse substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs for varied and complicated reasons, but it is clear that our society pays a significant cost,” (para. 1). People that are affected by substance abuse includes a very different range of people. Many that abuse the substances end up having health-related problems which in turn increases the need for health care. Other people that are affected by substance abuse are the family members and friends of the abusers because they have to deal with the person abusing the substances. Things that can be abused are things such as alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription drugs. Although the health business is booming from this in the more recent years, the doctors and health care workers have to deal with people that have a substance abuse problem also. Anyone can end up abusing substances. It is not just the stereotypical “drug user” anymore that you see in ads and campaigns.
For people that abuse substances, the only real risk factor that can be controlled is to not start using any substances to begin with. According to MayoClinic.com (2011), “The best way to prevent an addiction to an illegal drug is not to take the drug at all,” (para.1). This holds true for more than just illegal drugs. Refusing to try alcohol and tobacco can also prevent becoming addicted to those as well. As far as over-the-counter and prescription drugs, sometimes those have to be taken for medical reasons, but doctors give you these drugs or recommend them at a safe dose. If the person taking the drugs does not trust themselves and are scared that they will abuse the medication, a way to control that would be to have someone else give them the medications. This way, it is being tracked and the person using the medications can not over-do it and end up abusing the drugs. But, according to CDC.gov (2011), “Most injection drug users (IDUs) can not stop using drugs on their own,” (para. 1) While this is a good way to keep track of medication for a person, it is not always fool proof. Good mental stability and good psychology can also help with avoiding issues with substance abuse.
There are many programs for people with substance abuse issues to becoming involved in to try to improve their situations. Programs are good for people that do not have someone that can monitor them or force them to quit. Of course, people will always do what they want, and if they are addicted to something or are abusing substances, it can be hard to help them. For the United States Army, the program is called, “ASAP” or Army Substance Abuse Program. This program is offered all over the United States (and outside of the continental United States duty stations) for Army soldiers, family members, veterans, and Department of Army civilians. While the program is offered to each of these groups of people, each have their own contacts instead of everyone being seen at one place. For soldiers, they contact the local ASAP office, and it is usually at the duty station that they are assigned to. For family members of soldiers as well as Department of Army civilians, they are able to be seen by the ASAP Employee Assistance Program. Veterans of the military can be assisted by a local Veterans Affairs Office.
Within these programs, education is used to learn about substance abuse. The United States Army offers resources to educate soldiers, vets, civilians, and family members about the risks of being dependent on substances. For the soldiers, the commanders are given information and resources to keep the soldiers informed about substance abuse and things to avoid so that it does not happen. One of the campaigns run by the United States Army is called “That Guy” and it is basically telling soldiers to not be “that guy” by...
References: Dryden-Edwards, R. (2012). eMedicineHealth. Retrieved from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/substance_abusearticle_em.htm
Mayo Clinic. (2011). Drug Addiction. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug- addiction/DS00183/DSECTION=prevention
CDC. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/idu/substance.htm
Army Substance Abuse Program. (2012). Retrieved from http://acsap.army.mil
Green, C.A. (n.d.). National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved from http://www.pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh291/55-62.htm
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