Health Campaign Strategy
Substance abuse is disadvantageous, particularly in teenagers. The youth are at risk since drug use has several negative effects. Socially, substance abuse makes the youths to misbehave therefore contributing to immoralities. These include societal vices like sexually transmitted diseases precisely HIV/AIDS, armed robbery among others. Conversely, substance abuse makes teenagers have financial constraints. It makes the addicted persons use a lot of money to buy drugs. It is important to note that drug usage leads to health deterioration eventually leading to death. This paper evaluates substance abuse especially in teenagers and the needle exchange program which is a health campaign strategy. It will also focus on both cultural and ethical considerations in regards to its implementation.
A needle exchange program, NEP, is an essential social service which enables IDUs (injecting drug users) to get hypodermic needles at a reduced cost. The strategy is founded on the philosophy of ensuring harm reduction. Notably, harm reduction focusses on minimizing risk factors especially for diseases like hepatitis as well as HIV/AIDS (Bachman et al., 2014). A needle exchange program provides all the necessary equipment at no cost. Furthermore, the program necessitates service users to be responsible and subsequently return utilized syringes so as to receive other new ones.
The rationale for selecting the needle exchange program is because it has several benefits. NEPs support the well-being as well as the health of persons who utilize drugs. Additionally, this is done through empowerment, education and awareness. NEPs also consider recreational drug usage particularly in teenagers as a critical health concern and neither condone nor condemn the practice (Weinmeyer, 2016). Needle exchange programs also facilitate harm reduction. Harm reduction starts with the notion that it is not rational to assume that the youth make sound decisions. Conventionally, teenagers trapped in substance abuse are not willing to quit drug use. Therefore, the needle exchange program makes sure that youth continue this drug use behavior in a less risky manner. There has been a tendency precisely in the health profession to consider drug dependence as a chronic disease like asthma, hypertension and diabetes (Tanner-Smith, Wilson and Lipsey, 2013). Finally, a needle exchange program treats drug reliance as a disease, therefore, absolving drug users of accountability for their situation or condition.
A Licensed Practical Nurse, LPN, has several roles in the promotion as well as the implementation of the needle exchange program. First, as teenagers go to health facilities to get new syringes, licensed practical nurses can provide advice to the youth to quit drug use. The advice is essential because those who quit can easily convince their peers to reduce drug usage (Abdul-Quader et al., 2013). Notably, this makes more youth to participate in economic activities. Decreased substance abuse will also lead to the decline in transmission of deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS. Another role of a professional LPN is to take care of the youth who experience withdrawal symptoms as they quit drug use. They can do this by administering appropriate medications. Other vital players involved in implementing the needle exchange program to reduce substance abuse in teenagers are registered nurses and doctors (Des Jarlais et al., 2013). Doctors and registered nurse can provide patient education to those recovering from addiction. They can teach patients concerning the risks of substance abuse like psychological and physical effects.
There are several ethical considerations when implementing the needle exchange program. First, the strategy places most of its customers in a dilemma. Many clients want to access NEP services, however, are scared of being apprehended if drug use is considered a criminal offence. In the same vein, the needle exchange program could have several negative outcomes. It could lead to an increase in substance abuse among NEP customers especially the youth (Rich and Adashi, 2015). There could be a rise in the number of contaminated syringes unsafely discarded, for instance, in the streets. The needle exchange program could usher more teenagers into substance use therefore generally raising drug usage in the wider community.
In conclusion, there are various cultural considerations during the implementation of the needle exchange program. NEP services primarily focus on the health of the addicted people. On the other hand, needle exchange programs neglect the negative effects caused to the community. NEP to reduce substance abuse in youths could lead to the transmission of deadly diseases if the used syringes are not properly disposed or handled. Several adverse effects might arise if needle exchange programs concentrate drug activities into the various communities that they operate in. The concentration of drug activity may lead to increased crime, negatively impact property values as well as destroy wider perceptions concerning the host community.
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Tanner-Smith, E. E., Wilson, S. J., & Lipsey, M. W. (2013). The comparative effectiveness of outpatient treatment for adolescent substance abuse: A meta-analysis. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 44(2), 145-158.
Weinmeyer, R. (2016). Needle exchange programs’ status in US politics. AMA journal of ethics, 18(3), 252.