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Drug addiction in Victoria, Australia


Drug addiction and illicit use of psychoactive compounds is a major global health problem (Degenhardt et al., 2016). The Government of Australia has identified illicit drug use as one of its priority health problems in the country as it is one of the major causes of preventable illness in the country (Government of Australia, 2020). In Victoria, people who are aged between 20-29 are more likely to have consumed drugs recently than other age groups (State Government of Victoria,2019). Since some drugs require intravenous injections for consumption, infectious diseases like Hepatitis C have become a major health concern in the Victorian population (State Government of Victoria,2019).

The Ottawa health charter identifies the key five health promotion components that are inclusive of fundamental conditions for good health and provides a systematic framework for health promotion (Fry & Zask, 2017). This paper will summarize the health problems and devise a health promotion strategy associated with illicit drug use in the Victorian population aged between 20-29 years in Australia by using the Ottawa health charter. This essay will also highlight the essential role of nurses in health promotion.

Illicit Drug Use: A Major Health Concern

According to the Government of Australia (2020), young people aged below 24 years, report the highest incidence of drug use in Tasmania (40%), followed by Queensland (32%) (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020). The common drugs that are used by this population include Cannabis, Heroin, and Ecstasy. Consumption of these drugs requires injecting and therefore results in syringe sharing among the consumers. Bloodborne infections like Hepatitis C have therefore become common and prevalent in the population of Australia and in particular, Victoria. The state government has reported that 79% of total Hepatitis C cases originate from drug injections (State Government of Victoria,2019). Other than physical problems, drug abuse can also lead to psychological imbalances that cause the development of comorbid health conditions like obesity resulting in major harm to the health and well being of the population.

Ottawa Charter: Means to Curb the Menace

The Ottawa health promotion strategy was first introduced in 1986 as a health promotion strategy (Dugani et al., 2017). Health promotion is an essential component of the welfare of the community health and aims to develop complete physical, mental and social well being for holistic care. It has been identified as an essential responsibility of the nurses as per the ethical code of conduct by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2018). The Ottawa charter provides a means to develop a health promotion action by building a healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community actions, development of personal skills, reorientation of health services, and moving to the future (Fry & Zask, 2017).

Building a health public policy

It is crucial to develop a health policy that cab nabe applied in a broad spectrum to protect the health and promote wellness of the individuals uniformly (McBride et al., 2019). Health promotion and care is an essential nursing component that can be achieved by the formulation of comprehensive and inclusive health policies that can direct wellness programs to aid the community. One such example of the same is “Municipality public health and well-being plan 2017-2021” in Victoria (Government of Australia, 2020).

The policy is inclusive of promotion of healthy acting and physical activity, improvement in mental wellbeing, reduction in injuries and limits the alcohol and drug abuse in the community. Since nurses form the first line of contact with the patients, they play an essential role in the development of policies. Nurses, as cares possess essential knowledge about the needs and demands of patients that can be addressed and included in the process of policy making and implementation (Patton et al., 2018).

Create a supportive environment

Generation of supportive environment aims to develop inclusive, efficient and effective working conditions that can support the health and safety of the community (Stfter et al., 2018). Drug abuse can severely impact the psychological well being of an individual. The addictive nature of drugs results in permanent changes in the central nervous systems. When individuals participate in cessation programs and look for rehabilitation, withdrawal and relapses may be a common occurrence. It is an essential part of nursing care to develop and provide constant support and care to patients.

This can be achieved by possessing a person-centered approach by the nurses to assist the incomplete recovery of these individuals by providing them both clinical and psychological assistance for complete recovery and prevention of future relapses (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018). While the development of the supportive environment for the community, the social determinants of health must be kept in consideration so that all the primary and secondary needs are fulfilled and a complete, stimulating and beneficiary environment for recovery is generated.

Strengthening community action

The essential aim of strengthening community action is to empower the community to assert the significance of health improvement and the adoption of a healthy lifestyle that can prevent drug abuse and health conditions like obesity. To have a community-wide impact a systemic action with the involvement of people is essential. It is important to generate awareness about the consequent problems of illicit drug use in the community (Kennard, 2016). This can be achieved by providing patient education for the promotion of health.

It is an essential responsibility of the nurses to provide patients with information and education to make an informed decision. Through access to information about potential physical and psychological damages of the illicit drug use, community action can be driven towards health promotion and prevention of drug abuse in the population (Yeh et al., 2018). By empowering the community through health education and promotion, an ownership and control of wellbeing is ascertained making the population more aware and responsible.

Development of personal skills

The essential of personal skill development is to increase the efficacy in the process of health promotion. Health promotion is an integrative approach that requires development at both social and personal levels (Sigalit et al., 2017). Different individuals in the community have different needs. Therefore, it is crucial for health care professionals to practice health promotion to develop competence. Victoria has a rich cultural diversity with 28.4% of the population born overseas (State Government of Victoria, 2020). To understand the needs of individuals and their motivation towards drug intake is essential.

The practice of cultural safety and the development of respectful relationships with patients is considered to be of essential importance in efficient nursing practice (Nursing and midwifery Board of Australia, 2018). For individuals under drug abuse, it is important to develop empathy, understand the cause and effect of the drug abuse on an individual and then develop a suitable health promotion strategy. It is crucial for working on personal skills for a regular improvement and to provide the highest quality care through the development of strong interpersonal relations and competence.

Reorientation of health services

The primary aim to reorient is to enhance the focus towards the drug abuse prevention and promotion of healthy lifestyle among the population. The health services are a collaborative responsibility and require responsibility sharing among different healthcare professionals (Alami et al., 2017). Reorientation of healthcare services is essential as it provides the sharing of health promotion, health education, and community empowerment. This can be done by committing to the government resources, educating the healthcare providers, the establishment of the health promotion officers, and allocation of the adequate resources for the directed cause (McFarlane et al., 2016).

Moving into future

It is crucial to develop health promotion strategies that are holistic and are presented with a guiding principle that includes detailed planning, structural implementation and a mechanism for evaluation. The health promotion activities must be designed in consideration of the present problem along with its future implications. Since the concerned age group is 20-29 years, the cause and effect of drug abuse in these individuals must be regularly assessed to update the promotion strategies (Frank et al., 2017).

While planning the health promotion activities, there should be no bias and every individual must- get an equal opportunity for participation and expression. A futuristic assessment goal is also essential so that the efficacy of the policy for a scope of future improvements. As the lifestyles of people in the community change, the evolution of health promotion policies and strategies is important. Nurses can play an essential role by effective analysis of community health and therefore develop efficient strategies for health promotion.


This essay discusses the effect of drug addiction among the population of Victoria, Australia belonging to the age group 20-29 years. This essay provides insight into the need and practice of health promotion using the Ottawa health charter. This essay discusses the significance and application of various components of the health charter in association with drug addiction and highlights the role of nurses in the process of health promotion and wellness concerning the same.


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State Government of Victoria (2019). Drug use in Victoria. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/drug-use-in-victoria

State Government of Victoria (2020). Discover Victoria’s diverse population. https://www.vic.gov.au/discover-victorias-diverse-population

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Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Nursing Assignment Help

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