Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities. The effects of substance abuse are cumulative, significantly contributing to costly social, physical, mental, and public health problems. Commonly associated problems seen with substance abuse are: teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, STDs, domestic abuse, child abuse, physical altercations, crime, homicide, and suicide (HHS, 2018). There is an apparent problem and there is no denying that health care workers are in the front-lines of the war of substance abuse. 

References 

Family nurse practitioner specialization, is the MSN role I have chosen to pursue. I am interested in further researching the Healthy People 2020 goal regarding substance abuse; “Reduce substance abuse to protect the health, safety, and quality of life for all, especially children” (HHS, 2018). I have personally witnessed friends and family suffer from various forms of substance abuse; causing a magnitude of problems, including health and legal issues. My library search strategy included the use of the CINAHL database, I set the criteria to search within the last 5 years, English language only, and used the Boolean phrase “substance abuse”. My search yielded 7,916 results; which I was able to narrow it down to 3,879 results be selecting the source type “academic journals” only. 

The literature is overwhelming, there is a plethora of research on substance abuse. The first article I encountered involves substance abuse in adolescents; which I find to be one of the most important areas to focus on, the study showed that most of the users had initiated substance abuse during 15-18 years of age, with peer pressure, curiosity and sense of growing being the primary causes (Sharma, 2015). Also there is a higher presence of substance abuse with mentally ill patients; the study showed that patients with mental illness are 50% more prone to substance abuse than patient without mental illness (Vugt et al., 2014). The HHS (2018) estimates 22 million Americans struggled with a drug or alcohol problem and that nearly 95% of people with substance use problems are unaware that they have a problem. 

The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) demonstration program was adapted successfully to the needs of early identification efforts for hazardous use of alcohol and illicit drugs (Babor, Del Boca & Bray, 2017). Research shows that the use of SBIRT,  significantly reduces the rate of substance abuse.  SBIRT implementation was associated with improvements in treatment system equity, efficiency and economy (Babor, Del Boca & Bray, 2017). 

Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities. The effects of substance abuse are cumulative, significantly contributing to costly social, physical, mental, and public health problems. Commonly associated problems seen with substance abuse are: teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, STDs, domestic abuse, child abuse, physical altercations, crime, homicide, and suicide (HHS, 2018). There is an apparent problem and there is no denying that health care workers are in the front-lines of the war of substance abuse. 

References 

Babor, T. F., Del Boca, F., & Bray, J. W. (2017). Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment: implications of SAMHSA’s SBIRT initiative for substance abuse policy and practice. Addiction, 112110-117. doi:10.1111/add.13675

Sharma, M. (2015). Substance Abuse in Adolescents: Implications for Research and Practice. Journal Of Alcohol & Drug Education, 59(1), 3-6.

US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), (2018). Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Healthy People 2020 Focus area 26, substance abuse. Retrieved from: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/substance-abuse

Vugt, M., Kroon, H., Delespaul, P., & Mulder, C. (2014). Assertive Community Treatment and Associations with Substance Abuse Problems. Community Mental Health Journal, 50(4), 460-465. doi:10.1007/s10597-013-9626-2