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The Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act
The state of Florida faces an epidemic of drug abuse. The residents of Florida abusing prescription painkillers increasingly turn to heroin abuse. As a result, many addicts have been hospitalized and have died due to overdose. The mortality rate from heroin misuse has significantly increased. This hard drug has become more potent and widely available in recent years. Its rate of abuse in South Florida increased from 62% in 2011 to 117% in 2012 (Fagenson, 2014). Young adults aged 18-29 start using hard drugs instead of prescription pain-relieving pills. Annually, the country loses over $740 billion in costs related to health care, low productivity, and crime caused by drug abuse. Drug misuse is a part of social behavior that reflects one's reorientation from family members to peers. In most cases, it occurs during adolescence. Unique brain changes taking place in this period significantly enhance impulsivity and increase the likelihood of engaging in risk-taking behavior (Cerda, Wall, Keyes, Galea, & Hasin, 2012). As a result, people become more vulnerable to the threat of substance use.
Depending on the type of drug, drug abuse may start at a different age, but the peak of dependence falls on adolescence. Chemical substances can be equally consumed by any ethnic or sex group. Males tend to misuse drugs more than females, particularly in adulthood (Smith, 2014). In Florida, Latinos and Whites use drugs more frequently, compared to African Americans (Smith, 2014). In 2016, 27 million Americans reported the misuse of prescription or illegal drugs (Nesbit, 2016). The USA spends $442 billion in dealing with this epidemic annually (Nesbit, 2016). Drug misuse and related mental disorders have become a fundamental public health issue that does not only poses an enormous threat to the communities but also places a significant financial burden on the federal/state budgets and the entire healthcare system.
Because drug abuse has become widely spread in the last few decades, the U.S. Congress decided to develop comprehensive legislation. Thus, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act was introduced in 1970 (Abadinsky, 2010). The main goal pursued by this Act was to combat drug abuse. Previous laws and legislative initiatives failed to address the illegal consumption of legally manufactured drugs. In addition to the outlaw and classification of specific drugs, the Act was aimed at fostering research on drug abuse and providing relevant treatment to drug addicts in healthcare organizations. Particular attention has been paid to addressing the needs of the vulnerable groups of the population suffering from the consequences of drug misuse (Zebrovski, 2016). The Drug Enforcement Agency about the federal government is responsible for enforcing laws controlling substance misuse. The role of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, and the Rehabilitation Services Administration is also critical in enforcing the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act.
Because drug abuse has become a fundamental public health concern in the USA, and, particularly, the state of Florida, current efforts of the government are directed towards reducing the rates of mortality and morbidity caused by this problem through policy initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels (Nickitas, Middaugh, & Aries, 2016). States have implemented only a few intervention and prevention strategies. Through coordinated efforts, they have adopted rescue drug policies and expanded current laws.
The new policy has positively affected the clinical practice and ensured positive outcomes from the long-term perspective. It has engaged all key parties in the process, including healthcare professionals, policymakers, youth, adults, and consumers. The involvement of APRNs in the process, an increase of public awareness, and the provision of training and education on this issue ensure that the laws, policies, and initiatives work. The fact that they are rooted in the medical practice being implemented by APRNs means that all efforts will have a positive impact on the decision-making process and the outcomes of the drug abuse epidemic (Nash, Reifsnyder, Fabius, & Pracilio, 2015). Moreover, the nursing workforce in the Southern state has successfully implemented them in their clinical practice.
APRNs discuss the ways in how treatment and rehabilitation should be carried out. They also share information about basic wound care, the severity of addiction and drug dependence, and answer the question of how to prevent overdose, as well as how to intervene properly and timely in case of emergency. These caregivers also incorporate strategies and introduce evidence-based interventions devoted to reducing the harm caused by drug abuse. APRNs operating in the state of Florida provide relevant training and education to drug addicts and their families. Nurse specialists also consult law enforcement agents and other entities to realize the potential of new state policies in practical settings. Because of expertise and versatility, APRNs and other caregivers will continue implementing the state drug policy, legislative initiatives, and, in particular, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act designed to eradicate the drug abuse epidemic.
The inter-professional team uses the policy to ensure coordinated and comprehensive care for the specific groups of the population through the communication between colleagues, development of a strategic plan specifying duties and obligations of every party, and addressing the problems of every patient in a specific manner. Conversation between staff and drug addicts starts with care, compassion, respect, and support, as well as effective management of addiction outcomes. The inter-professional team bears a health-promoting responsibility for the patient's well-being through the provision of education and health counseling. In this case, clients will be able to live a healthy life and make relevant choices taking into account the specific circumstances. Due to the unique position that healthcare providers occupy, drug addicts can deal with their problems in a positive way (Treas & Wilkinson, 2014). For the inter-professional team to reach success in managing the problems of drug addicts, colleagues should distribute obligations among themselves, demonstrate the readiness to work in a team, and reach consensus. They should possess relevant knowledge about the specifics of drug dependence, remain non-judgmental, and treat every addicted person with compassion and kindness.
To conclude, abuse of illicit drugs is associated with significant costs for the U.S. nation. The early initiation of substance use increases the risk for substance dependence in adulthood. Because drug abuse has become a matter of great concern in the USA, and, particularly, the state of Florida, current efforts are directed towards decreasing death and dependence rates through the enactment of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Florida will follow the path of other states that have successfully implemented this policy. The law introduced changes to the schedule category of chemical substances, added a new provision to control psychotropic substances and narcotic drugs, and specified new measures to be taken against drug trafficking. With the help of this law, the medical specialists will address all challenges faced by adult drug addicts and help them fight the addiction through health promotion and preventive measures.