When a person uses any substance that acts as a psychoactive agent, the use of which can be harmful or hazardous is called substance abuse and the most commonly abused things are either be alcohol or other illicit and recreational drugs (World Health Organization, 2020). Substance abuse can be due to various factors as well as it affects various aspects of a person's life and it can lead to dependence syndrome like a cluster of behavioural, cognitive and physiological phenomena. It can be seen in any age group and it takes control of a person’s life which can lead to an increase in tolerance level and can cause withdrawal symptoms. The aim of the present essay is to discuss the issue of alcoholism in young adults with respect to the description of the issue and identification of at-risk groups. Also, the essay discusses the prevention and intervention strategies and resources that are available at the national and state level for helping the people suffering from the problem.
Alcoholism is not a localized issue but it is a global one along with other addictions and substance abuse like that of tobacco and other drugs like cocaine, heroin, and other things. According to a study conducted, in the year of 2015, the estimated prevalence of heavy alcoholism in the last month was 18.4% (Peacock et al., 2018). Among all the regions for which the data was compiled, it was seen that alcoholism was highest in European regions. Alcohol dependence was seen to be 843.2 per 100,000 people and it was responsible for 85 million DALY worldwide again it was seen to be highest in the Eastern European region. Alcoholism can be single risky occasion behaviour or chronic alcoholism and both seen in young adults in Australia, single risky behaviour can be also be addressed as binge drinking (Wright et al., 2017).
According to the national drug strategy household survey conducted for the year, 2013 reported that almost two-thirds of 20 to 29 years old who were engaged in binge drinking which was more than 5 drinks per occasion or 50-gram alcohol in a session. In Australia, alcoholism is a major public health problem as it is seen that the alcoholism was responsible for 1 in 5 hospitalizations in 15 to 25 year-olds and was the cause of one in seven deaths (Wright et al., 2017). It can lead the person to take up other risky behaviours like physical and sexual violence, risky sexual behaviour, and impairment in cognitive and brain function which can be long as well as short-term. Chronic alcoholism can have aneffect on the physical health of a person like affecting the liver and others (Wright et al., 2017).
Taking up the habit of alcohol is not unifactorial but it is related to many factors and can have an impact on the health outcome related to the behaviour of alcoholism. There is evidence that there is a strong relationship between the genetic component of a person and the psychology of a person which affects the response of a person in distress and ultimately has an inclination of alcoholism (Chang et al., 2018). It is seen that things that have an effect on the psychology of a person like psychological distress, somatic distress and affective disorder which cause substance abuse in people who might these characteristics.
Psychological disorders like schizophrenia have a genetic influence which starts in adolescence and peeks in young adulthood. Often people suffering from schizophrenia have the habit of alcoholism to avoid the reality of their condition as there is a usual association with paranoia (Evans, 2020; Makuuchi et al., 2017). At-risk people also include the one who has an environmental and socio-cultural effect on their behaviour. Young adults if they are brought up in such a situation where there is exposure to alcohol from a young age or if they come from a family which is difficult situation to be living in like broken homes (Khemiri et al., 2020).
There are few cultural backgrounds where people are subjected to discrimination and as a coping mechanism young people take up alcoholism. The behaviour of chronic alcoholism is gradually built up over the years as it starts as small amounts but it eventually increases as dependency and tolerance are built over the time and to get the same amount of euphoria large quantity is required over the period of time.
Prevention of alcoholism will not only help the people in the present generation but also have an impact on the future generation as well because it would affect the quality of life and can have positive health outcomes. Prevention strategy should be aimed at causes or the population who are at risk (Pimpin et al., 2018). In the present case of alcoholism in young Australian adults, one of the at-risk population is the children who live in a household which can have alcohol behaviour in their households. Teenage and adolescence are the age of experimentation and the availability of alcohol in household encourages it (Gilligan et al., 2016). There is an association between early drinking and alcoholism behaviour in young adults.
As a prevention method, population strategy can be used for educating the parents about the protective effect they can have over the behaviour of a person (Gilligan et al., 2016). In people with predilection towards psychological disorder, a targeted approach in which people can be educated about their condition and that consumption of alcohol is not the solution. Mass education strategy can be done regarding the association between alcohol and cancer and other health implications and it is seen to reduce the consumption of alcohol in young adults (Scheideler & Klein, 2018).
In an intervention strategy, it is related to the intervention that is provided to the people who already have the habit of alcoholism. One of the strategies is to break the cycle of addiction which has already formed. The break of the addiction cycle should come from within but it can also be due to the insistence by the family members. People who have problem with addiction can be referred to de-addiction centres where people will be evaluated for the level of addiction and in a systematic way help them get over their addiction (Harris & Koob, 2017). When the addiction is originated due to psychological problems, the person can be referred to a psychologist who can help the affected person with psychological help to tackle their mental health.
The idea behind doing it is that once the psychological help is obtained tackling the addiction can be easy. For the people who have a problem with alcoholism which is attributed to social factors, it is required that they are detached from the social environment so that they are not tempted to take the habit. One such intervention is that there is the development of mobile-based application and SMS texting services which is delivered to the young adults when they find themselves in risky drinking events (Wright et al., 2017).
One such intervention was conducted as a pilot study in which alcohol-related risk-reduction was given as a brief intervention by the method of short messaging services to Australian young adults. The participants were limited and it was a brief intervention but they said reported that the intervention was a success as they were able to focus on the fun of the event without indulging themselves in alcohol so that negative influences can be avoided. It was seen that the people found the SMSes acceptable. This was just a pilot study, and conduction of study on a large scale is required to know the effectiveness before it can be implemented to all the people with the problem of alcoholism (Wright et al., 2017).
At the national level, there are various things that have been by the government like there are links present at the website which the person on an individual level can access (Department of Health, 2020). One of the services available is support services in which the person is redirected towards the local general practitioner where help can be given to people seeking it. There is a formulation of government policy which has restricted the level of alcohol consumption which can help in public so that people do not overindulge and get into alcoholism. In Queensland, there is ADIS which is a support service which is available to people round the clock which provide counselling services to people who have problem with alcoholism (Queensland Government, 2020).
In conclusion, substance abuse includes a wide range of addiction problems like that of alcoholism and drug abuse. Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is not restricted to one portion of the world but it is seen globally. In Australia, it is a public health problem and impacts the lives of people involved. Addiction can be related to a genetic component which affects the psychological aspect of a person. Prevention should precede cure and one of the prevention strategies is family-based approach and mass education while intervention for people already in the habit can be the provision of addiction counselling. There are various government measures that are taken to help people tackle their behaviour both at the national and state level.
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