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Policies for addiction and drug management.
Methods to solve addiction problem..
Information about our campaign.
The difference in existing strategy and our campaign.
Addiction is one of the major problems that are faced by a large number of population in the world. Addiction to drugs and alcohol can have multiple effects on people (McLellan et al., 2017). For example, it can hamper the social, physical, mental and emotional well being of a person and could also cause physical and mental problems. Addiction in middle age people especially who are above 35 years of age is generally overlooked and because of that, they have to face more troubles. This is the reason why it is important to focus on this group of people as they are also vulnerable and are in need of protection. One strategy which has been implemented by the United Kingdom's government was 2017 Drug Strategy (HM Government, 2017). The people could also be helped with the use of interventions such as cognitive-behavioural therapy and contingency management. Our campaign made use of poster and leaflet which is used for providing the information to the target audience that they are not alone and that there re services which could help them with their addiction.
Addiction is caused by the problem of substance abuse. The substance can be alcohol, drugs or even the medication that have been prescribed but if taken in larger quantity can harm the individual. A substance can be referred to as a psychoactive compound which can cause harm to the social and health status of the person and thus later can cause addiction. These addictive substances can be legal such as tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and so on. They can also be illegal substances such as cocaine and heroin. In addition to that, it can also be licensed to prescribe for a medical reason such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. These all can cause addiction to the person which can cause problems to the individual. The substances are classified into seven classes based upon on their behavioural and pharmacological effects (McLellan et al., 2017). The first class is of nicotine which consists of cigarettes, cigars, snuff, vapour-cigarette and chewing tobacco. The second class is of alcohol which includes every kind of liquor which is rum, wine, beer and so on. The third class is of cannabinoids which involves marijuana, hash oil, hashish and edible cannabinoids. The fourth class consists of opioids which are heroin, buprenorphine, Lortab, methadone, oxycodone and Vicodin. The fifth group is of depressants which include benzodiazepines such as valium, Xanax and Librium and barbiturates such as seconal. The sixth class consists of stimulants which are cocaine, methamphetamine, atomoxetine, amphetamine and methylphenidate. The last class is of hallucinogens which consist of LSD, MDMA such as ecstasy and mescaline. Chronic and severe use of these substances could produce disorders in people which are commonly known as addictions. People who have the problem of addiction have high rates of health troubles and social problems (McLellan et al., 2017).
Addiction is bad for the people as it has various implications on them such as people can feel chronic pain in their body or they even can become physically disabled. Sometimes, addiction also reduces the mobility of the people and leads them to live under the care of others. Health status of the addicted person also reduces. They can even experience severe physical illnesses or life-threatening diseases. Substance use can also increase the dependency on the drug and therefore drug burden increases (Kuerbis et al., 2014). Social risk factors could be affluence or forced retirement. People can also go into isolation and sometimes lost touch with reality. They could also be bereaved. In addition to these, they can develop psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, hallucination, psychosis and so on. Addiction to drugs also causes financial problems too (Kuerbis et al., 2014). There is an increased risk of death in people due to multiple reasons such as suicide or HIV infection (Mathers et al., 2013).
According to the United Nations report (2019), it was shown that all around the world there are 35 million people who are currently suffering from disorders because of drug use. The report also suggested that there are 53 million opioid users and that 585,000 people died in the year 2017 due to drug use. Over 11 million people take drugs from injection and therefore out of which 1.4 million have HIV and other 5.6 million are suffering from hepatitis C. It was also predicted that 271 million people that is 5.5% of the world population have used drugs in the last year. The age of the group that was taken for the data was between 15 to 64 years. In 2017, around 1,976 tons of cocaine was produced around the globe which is the highest amount of cocaine that was ever recorded. The most used drug in the current time is cannabis and it was estimated that 188 million people are a user of cannabis (United Nations, 2017). Not only drugs but alcohol also causes millions of death each year. According to the World Health Organization, there have been 3.3 million death reported all around the world because of alcohol consumption (World Health Organization, 2020).In the United Kingdom (UK), 14.7% of people smoke cigarettes which equates to 7.2 million individuals in the population. There have been a total of 7,551 deaths reported in the country due to alcohol consumption in the year 2018. These alcohol-related deaths can be stated as 11.9 deaths among 100,000 people. Male mortality is higher than female mortality by the ratio of two in the UK (Office for National Statistics, 2019). Total of 7,376 people are admitted in hospitals in the year 2018 for drug-related behavioural and mental disorder and 18,053 people have been admitted in the same year for drug misuse associated poisoning. Also, 2,917 people lost their lives due to drug poisoning. The data also shows that 9.4% of adults have taken an illicit drug in the year 2017. The age group of these people was between 16 to 59 years (NHS Digital, United Kingdom, 2019).
The target audience which is taken up for the study includes the people who are above 35 years of age. The individuals who are at this age are involved in the study because they are the population who are working and are surviving under a great amount of pressure. In other words, they are known as "Working-age population". However, the concept of addiction and substance use is only used in relation to the young population but the people, who are above 35 years of age, are also very much vulnerable to these addictive substances. The older adults who are above 65 years of age also constitute the major population of the people who are dependent on the substances. Use of illicit and licit substances is widely linked to an increase in the health risks, isolation and social exclusion among these people. Because of ageing and other social determinants, people are being more dependent on drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse in this particular age group goes ignored, misdiagnosed or unrecognized. Addiction can also cause dementia and depression in people and thus it reduces the quality of life of these individuals. In older adults, due to social isolation, more people are facing deaths because for them there is no support and moreover they are lonely. More medical and psychiatric signs and symptoms can also be seen in these individuals because of addiction to the substances (Koechl, Unger & Fischer, 2012).
As for the middle age people, most of the deaths are caused by heart diseases or cancers which are mostly due to drug overdose and alcohol-associated liver mortality. Suicide is also one of the main reasons due to the increase in the number of deaths in middle-aged individuals. This also is related to addiction to the illicit or licit drug. With that, people who are above 35 years of age also experience a mid-life crisis which often affects their physical and mental health and often they turn towards substance use. This is the reason why most of the population in this time period complains about chronic pain in their body (Case & Deaton, 2017). The groups of people who are being targeted in the study are therefore the people who are very vulnerable to substance use and addiction. There is a need to focus on them because most of the cases are not reported among them and others are often got ignored. Because of this, high numbers of deaths are generally reported in the people belonging from this age group. They are most likely to commit suicide and also die from cancer or heart diseases because of the consumption of drugs and alcohol. The people who are above 35 years of age also experience mental or physical disorders which lessen their quality of life. Therefore, it is important to look at this population and pay attention towards their needs and requirements and also it is very crucial that proper intervention should be given to them so that danger towards their life could be reduced. Another target audience can also be benefitted from this campaign. The other target audience can include young adults and teenagers. These are the people who are mostly involved in substance abuse and smoking. There are various determinants because of which they become addictive. Some of them are individual problems, family or social problems and so on. Because of this, they often have to experience multiple social, physical, mental implications and thus it is important that appropriate interventions are provided to them (Das et al., 2016).
One of the policies which are implemented in the UK for controlling drugs and the problem of addiction is 2017 Drug Strategy. It talks about combining government of every level with the public and community sector as they also play an important role in prevention and treatment. They are focused on making a society where the health status of the people is good and everyone is given equal chances to improve their lives. It is also focused to protect the vulnerable people of the society. The aim of the strategy is to reduce and deduct the use of harmful drugs by increasing the number of recovering individuals. The approaches that have been taken are reducing the demand for drugs and other substances and to limit or restrict their supply. The approach also pays to focus on building recovery and taking global actions (HM Government, 2017). Our health campaign also contributes towards the health promotion of the people as with the help of this, the focus will be laid upon the individuals who are above 35 years of age. Demand can be reduced among this group and supply can be restricted for them. In addition, attention could be paid towards their full recovery and giving them better quality treatment so that their problem does not go unrecognized. Global actions could also be taken so that new initiatives could be performed to help the people in this particular group. This campaign could prevent people at the secondary level when the problem has started to arise. With the help of this campaign, the problem could be identified early in the people and thus treatment or intervention can be given to them. This campaign could be impactful in changing the lives of people who are suffering from addiction. Their quality of life could be improved and their other problems which are related to addiction such as depression and anxiety could also be treated.
The underlying health psychological theory that has been chosen to deal with the problem of addiction in people who are older than 35 years of age is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). This therapy could be used as a first-line defence against substance use disorders. With that, this therapy is highly effective and targets the cognitive and environmental risks that occur due to substance abuse and addiction. CBT helps the individuals by training them to control risking behaviour and inhibiting them towards the use of substances (Ray et al., 2020). CBT also involves motivational interviewing, identification of danger of relapse, psychoeducation, training of problem-solving skills, planning of relapse prevention and relaxation strategy. However, the problem with the CBT is that it involves only limited number of sessions and therefore there is the risk of relapse of the risky behaviour among the target individuals (Coates et al., 2018).
Scientists and researchers have also explained another approach which can help in addiction and substance abuse. This approach is contingency management (CM). It includes providing the target audience or the patient with rewards which are tangible when they reinforce behaviour which is positive such as abstinence. Studies which have been performed have concluded that CM is good for the patients can help in the retention of drugs or alcohol and in promoting drug abstinence (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2020). CM could be used for treating the problems which are associated with opioids, nicotine, marijuana and polydrug use disorder. However, being used in creating a positive impact, contingency management does not hold that much positive feedback from healthcare professionals such as clinicians. The major concern regarding this theory is that it does not provide help for a longer period of time and therefore has only short term benefits. Its implementation has also been limited but with time it is growing among the population. Therefore it can be said that contingency management practice could improve the results in the people mental health status by proving them rewards when they show abstinence in the behaviour of drug or alcohol use. Ultimately, it will reduce the dependence of people on drugs and will aid them in de-addiction (Petry et al., 2017).
The campaign that was used by us involves various strategies so that reactions could be triggered in the target audience. The target audience that was taken was the people who are facing the problem of addiction and are above 35 years of age. The poster presentation is a very commonly used form of showing and presenting information about the health of the people in community or conferences. It is an easy way of communicating important information among people. It is also necessary because it increases the knowledge base and helps in changing the behaviours and attitudes of people (Ilic& Rowe, 2013). Our campaign used images of people who belong to the target audience. In addition to that, the poster which was created consists of slogans which reflect that help could be provided to the needy people. Some of the slogans were: A helping hand for addiction, it’s not too late, be free, be safe and be in control. The poster of the campaign showed statistics too so that it can provide information to the people about this problem and could tell them that they are not alone. Images used also showed people holding each other’s hand which generates the idea of support for the people who are suffering. Moreover, the leaflet suggested that help is available for them and they could reach out and can come out of their situation. It also mentioned the services that are available in the people area that they could avail it. Information about the serious complication is also given to the people via the leaflet. In the poster, a helpline number is also provided so that the addictive patients could ask for help privately. Thus, with the help of poster and leaflet, knowledge was transferred and the attention of the target audience was drawn (Ilic& Rowe, 2013).
The existing strategy that is implemented by the UK government is 2017 Drug strategy. It is used for reducing the harmful use of the drug among the people and also towards the increasing recovery rates from dependence on drugs. For that, they have used the approach of decreasing the demand for substances and limiting their supply. In addition to that, they also have focused on building recovery and taking global actions(HM Government, 2017). Our campaign is different from this 2017 Drug strategy as our campaign is targeting the population which is above 35 years of age and is facing the problem of addiction. The government strategy is mainly focused on all the age groups whereas we paid more attention to adults who are more than 35 years of age. The government strategy talks about reducing the demand and restricting the supply of drugs whereas we are providing help to the people so that intervention could be provided to them which could improve their condition immediately (HM Government, 2017). One method by which campaign effectiveness could be known is by looking at direct figures of the people who came in for the intervention so that they can be cured of the problem of addiction. By looking at the data, it will be known how much impact this campaign has on the target audience (Duplaga et al., 2019).
In conclusion, it can be said that addiction is a problem which occurs in individuals due to use of substances again and again and later forming a dependency on them. This affects their mental and physical wellbeing. Addiction can also make people physically disabled and moreover can develop a mental illness in them thus inducing drug burden on the economy and reducing the health status of the people. Usage of drugs and alcohol is responsible for increasing the number of deaths worldwide. In the UK also, this is a major problem. The data which is presented shows that around 16.9% of people have taken drugs in 2017. The target group is taken for the study involves the people who are above 35 years of age because their addiction problem goes unnoticed most of the time. Drug strategy 2017 is also made so that this problem could be resolved and the dependency on substances could be reduced. To deal with this problem two main methods could be used they are CBT and CM. These both approaches help in managing the risky behaviour and thus help the individuals to stop the usage of substances. Our campaign made use of poster and leaflet to provide people with information about this problem and that they might get help. Drug Strategy 2017 differed from our campaign as we have a particular target group and are providing help to the patients instead of reducing the supply of substances. Therefore, this campaign could be used as a health promotion strategy for adults who are experiencing substance addiction.
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