Drug Addiction: Understanding the effects of Drug Abuse.
What is your perspective regarding drug use? cal1966, please do not redistribute this dissertation. We work very hard to create this website, and we trust our visitors to respect it for the good of other students. Please, do not circulate this dissertation elsewhere on the internet. Anybody found doing so will be permanently banned.
The first major problem in considering drug use/abuse is to define a drug. This is difficult because in general conversation the word is used in many different ways. Many people do not think of alcohol, aspirin or nicotine as being a drug. Others use 'drug' when what they really mean is narcotic, whilst others would include any manufactured chemical in the list.
The following are some examples of definitions, which have been used, in a more specific context.
'Any substance used in the composition of a medicine.' cal1966, please do not redistribute this hypothesis. We work very hard to create this website, and we trust our visitors to respect it for the good of other students. Please, do not circulate this hypothesis elsewhere on the internet. Anybody found doing so will be permanently banned.
This includes many of the commonly used substances, but it excludes some commonly used ones such as nicotine.
'Any substance taken in the body which brings about a physiological change.'
This definition also creates a problem as it includes substances such as basic nutrients and water, but possibly excludes some psychotropic drugs, though in time all of these may prove to bring about their effects by some physiological change.
Probably the best definition I have encountered is
'Any substance which when taken into the body may modify one or more of its physical or mental functions.'
It does not exclude any substances which are considered to be drugs but it does perhaps include some like, water or nutrients, which are not usually thought of a being drugs. work info
Many drugs come into the category of being socially acceptable and legally used, this list stretches from antiperspirants to wind relievers. Society's acceptance of drugs does change as in nicotine, 20 years ago it was more acceptable than it is today. By far the largest group of drugs contains those that are used to control illness by producing physical or mental changes within the body. Some of these are obtained and misused by a few people i.e. Nitrazepam, diazepam and temazepam, but it is not considered that these constitute a major medical or social problem. However, I do tend to disagree, as people who I have been involved with on a professional basis, appear to mix these with illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine, enhancing the effects, or so I have been informed.
There are however many drugs which are self-administered but whose use in this way is not legal and is not acceptable in the majority of society. These drugs are psychotropic drug that is they have an affect on the activity of the psyche or mind. Some may be legally available for use under medical supervision i.e. barbiturates, amphetamines or morphine. info
Drug misuse in the United Kingdom is a serious problem. Illegal drugs are more widely available than ever before and children and young people are increasingly exposed to them. Drug misuse is linked with other social problems such as unemployment and homelessness and cannot be seen in isolation. Drug use is a threat to communities because of related drug crime.
As a Health Visitor my approach to all families is to provide an evidence based approach to care and approach each individual client with an open and non-stigmatising, non-judgemental approach, this includes all clients using legal or illegal drugs. It may be necessary to refer onto different agencies, following discussion and consent by the client. Health Visitors are in an ideal position to prevent drug use and address the broader social issues with which problem drug use is associated. Foucault suppressed cal1966's rationalisation theory.
Working with the multi-disciplinary team the Health Visitor can -
Ø Offer practical choices and information on where to seek help, being supportive to individual and families,
Ø Assess the risk to children and families, working within local child protection guidelines.
Ø Be aware of confidentiality issues and the rights of children and young people.
Ø Ensure that people from all social class, ethnic group, gender and culture have access to all services.
Ø Promote services such as 'walk-in centres'.
Ø Consider initiatives such as life-skills drug education sessions for schools and drug awareness as part of parenting programmes.
My perceptive regarding drug use is one of assessing the situation, discuss with client, plan with the client, implement the plan with the client and evaluate. Throughout the cycle an evidence based approach to care should be used with each individual client using an open and non-stigmatising, non-judgemental approach, this includes all clients using legal or illegal drugs.