Ways to Address Drug Abuse in the Community

There are numerous reasons why people take drugs. They may be using them for recreational purposes or to manage pain. When it comes to managing pain, these pills get consumed in a controlled manner before being discontinued. Taking drugs is inherently not wrong but becomes an issue when drugs get abused. Drug abusers are a menace to society and bring a high level of instability and crime to the community.

Drug abusers often neglect families and subject them to domestic violence, a massive cause of concern for social workers. Since most addictive drugs are expensive, so resorting to crime is the only feasible option as drug abusers are too unstable to hold a job. Therefore, if a community is continuously submerging under massive narcotics usage, there is a need to address the issue. If the community sinks any more profoundly, the effects spread throughout society, pillaging it under crime. Here are ways to combat the prevailing drug abuse in the community:

1. Educate Masses

Most drug abusers don’t know how badly the drugs can affect them in the long term. Research, numerical data, and even pictures can be a great source of guidance. The data need airing on radios, TVs, and even in schools. The policymakers working for the government have a massive role to play in this regard in spreading awareness. Drug abusers who are in jail or rehab should see these educational seminars as much as possible. Mainstreaming these resources is the only way to educate the community. Ideally, while working with the masses, professionals can equip themselves with an online MPH program to develop advanced skills and stay competitive in the field. With added flexibility and self-paced learning, online education has helped professionals by leaps and bound. It helps them counter the drug situation within the community. Lastly, unless people are made aware of what they’re up against, it will be hard to administer proper care.

2. Reduce Deaths by Overdose

Patients usually take prescription pills such as OxyContin and Vicodin to manage pain but are highly addictive. Since it is hard to keep tabs on patients and prescriptions, hospitals can provide access to Naloxone. The purpose of this medication is to prevent asphyxiation. Drugs such as heroin and other painkillers can stop a patient’s breathing. This nasal spray can immediately combat this respiratory suppression. So anyone who is on drugs starts showing signs of breathlessness and suffocation should have this nasal spray on hand. Not only does this prevent an accidental overdose, but it also gives caregivers enough time to check the patient into a hospital.

3. Normalize Drug Abuse Screening

Patients usually get checked for routine health work. It includes their cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, and blood pressure. However, drug screening should also be part of healthcare. Early identification of drug abuse can help with intervention and prevent the patient from getting addicted. Doctors can start treatment programs to help the patient move out of excessive drug usage. It can be beneficial for teens who are experimenting with drugs. It doesn’t take long for experimentation to become an addiction. Therefore monitoring is essential. If drug screening becomes the norm, people will be hesitant to turn to drugs. It is because doctors will employ social norms to cause a fraction of embarrassment in these patients. No one likes alienation, and so most patients will try and change their life around.

4. Affordable Drug Treatment Programs

One of the reasons why drug abusers are unable to get help is the price of treatment facilities. Most facilities are extremely exuberant and not easily affordable. The more there is a gap between treatment and drug abusers, the harder it will be to reshape communities. If the healthcare sector takes the initiative and forms policies that provide aid and help to these patients, they can tap into treatment. Insurance companies should also look into covering rehab facilities. When there are options available to seek help, it makes it easier for those who want to recover. There also needs to be more in city treatment centers. Most fancy clinics are far from town, bringing in two obstacles. First, they were not affordable, and now they are not even accessible.

5. Find Alternatives to Treat Chronic Pain

When it comes to chronic pain such as arthritis or headaches, the most common treatment is painkillers. Unfortunately, painkillers are highly addictive, and weaning patients off them is not easy. So, the healthcare sector needs to look into treatment options to help such patients. If they choose not to do so, they’re involuntarily contributing to the drug abuse problem in the community. A definite way to help such patients is to help them modify their lifestyles and introduce more physical therapy. Doctors and the healthcare sector will need to be more deeply involved with chronic pain patients to make sure they don’t resort to drugs.

6. Introduce More Steps in Intervention

We know about counseling and AA meetings. These interventions aim to help addicts recover from their addiction and share their experiences. However, sharing experiences and talking about addiction alone is not enough. There need to be practical steps to make sure when abusers step out, they don’t relapse. Abusers should have access to counseling such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Their family should be on board with the treatment. There needs to be a support system in place so they don’t feel isolated unless these interventions take it upon themselves to help abusers actively. The situation will not get better anytime soon. People need more than stories and discussions. They need practical help and guidance to stop them from going back to drugs. It will also help if these programs help these people in getting jobs. It can be from anything to bagging groceries to working in gas stations. Those with degrees should be encouraged to go back to work.

7. Make Getting Narcotics Difficult

There is a widespread addiction crisis because it is easy to find people who will sell your drugs. Law enforcement needs to be strict about drug usage. There needs to be heavier fines and penalties on those who fail the sobriety test. There also needs to be an introduction to possible jail time. It is unfortunate that unless strict measures are in place, communities struggle. The only way to make people mindful of their actions is to make them know about the possible consequences. The idea isn’t to completely put people off from recreational drugs so much so that they turn to other thrill-seeking activities. It is to introduce the element of control in their lives.

Wrap Up

Drug abuse is a global problem. It is a mixture of narcotics and prescription pills wreaking havoc in society. While using drugs is not a problem, it doesn’t take long for the addiction to kick in. Most addicted individuals are too unstable to hold jobs, so high crime rates start seeping into the system. If both healthcare and law enforcement become strict with drug abuse, there can be a shift in society. Educating the masses is step one, but there is also a need to bring affordable treatment, better intervention methods, and alternate treatment. When all hands are on deck to solve this drug crisis, there will be change.

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