Nursing in sociopolitical context

Drug use or abuse is a major issue in most countries. This issue especially affects the growing children in their adolescence hindering many in their life. The community is affected in that potential law-abiding citizens are reduced in number and the children go onto a worthless life full of crime and drawbacks. Society has understood the significance of this hazard which kills relationships and reduces loved ones to mere existence for the craving of drugs. Their body and mind are affected together.

Prevention or stopping them from resorting to drugs and alcohol must be the aim of any policy on drug addiction. The making of a policy Drawing up a policy based on “reasoning and understanding of contemporary social policy” helps the conforming to the policy (Smith, 2005, p. 1). Being practical and considering each person on his own merits may give a humane colour to the issue. This attitude may be better accepted by society and the wrongdoers. Reason and common sense must prevail. “Law, science, ethics and medicine” must have a partnership which links all these disciplines with equal interest.

Sir Isaac Newton’s policy of a reaction equal and opposite to any action applies to scientific advancement as much as to national policies for the benefit of humankind (Smith, 2005, p. 2). For acceptance at the societal level, a democratic consensus, promotion of good as a moral option and priorities must be weighed and compared. Essentially it is a judgement about values and the final action must be formulated and validated to reduce human suffering and elevate the social good. Drug abuse Drug abuse and criminal activity are a topic for frequent debate in any community.

The Australian Institute of Criminology has drug use monitoring program also named the DUMA. The institute is able to obtain specialized data from people who are in regular contact with it. Information that is not seen in routine collection is available. It collects information on seven classes of drugs as well as the age at first arrest. Figure I Incidence of the seven classes of drugs by DUMA The 2005 report showed that male offenders first and regular use of alcohol was at 14 years and the use of cannabis was 16 years and the first arrests were at 18 and 16 years respectively.

Adolescents tend to resort to cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines at later ages of 19, 19 and 18 years for first and regular use. However these same individuals had earlier first arrests for some other crime. Statistics of recent use of any illicit drug in Australia in 2004 show maximum usage by the age group 20-29 coming to 31. 5% (Figure 2). Total male users were 1. 5 million and females 1 million (National Drug Strategy and Household Survey, 2005). Females used more drugs than males in the 14-19 age group, 21. 3 %. One in five children was using drugs.

Recent illicit drug users were less in number in 2004 than 2001 by 150000. Lifetime and recent usage showed that 55% of males and 63% of females who had used drugs at some time in their life stopped after some time. Figure 2 Recent use of Illicit Drugs in Australia, 2004 Statistics reveal the towering problem which is destroying society. We are not sure whether crime leads to drugs or vice versa. The Drug Use Careers of Offenders study (DUCO) investigated the interaction between criminal offending and patterns of drug use.

The study included 2135 males and 470 females in Australian prisons (Makkai, 2003). The gender differences in the drug use and crime were estimated. Female prisoners were understood to be equally distributed in the initiation of drug use and the first arrest after a crime. 35 % of these women informed that they used drugs before crime and 34% were involved in a crime first before taking drugs (Johnson, 2004). 54% of the men took to crime before the drug use. There was a smaller chance of the men taking to drugs before crime. Illicit drugs play differing roles in men and women in sculpting a criminal career.

The development of health policymaking in South Africa coincides with its apartheid history (Baldwin-Ragaven, de Gruchy & London, 1999) that led to the limited attention given to health institutions and issues (Penn-Kekana & Blaauw, 2002). Before the shift in the …

The health sector, as an area of policy determination, forms part of a bigger picture, which largely determines the decisions on health issues. The operation of the wide-ranging concepts of free markets, public management practices, and autonomy strongly influence policymaking …

Harm reduction in drug treatment services has now a background of emerging HIV infections (Ghodse, 2002). Associated services like needle changing, prescribing substitutes and provision of outreach services need to be addressed in the context. A permanent change is expected …

Despite government’s created provisionary support in form of a health organization, the policy is still ineffective in facilitating the health problems of the indigenous people. It fails to address the increase of diseases in many communities of the First Nations …

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