Alcohol Misuse

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One main public health issue that the writer will focus on is alcohol misuse. Alcohol is one of the popular and legally available drugs. Alcohol misuse is using alcohol in such a way that it causes harm to user and to those close to him/her - physically, psychologically and socially. The writer will explore the impact of alcohol on the individual and the community and policy on alcohol, whiles critically evaluating the role of the nurse and the effectiveness of the policy. First, it is important to know the underlying causes of Alcohol misuse. These are stressors at work including fear of losing job, conflict with peers etc. and other factors according to a research are sociability (71%), like the taste (51%) feel at ease (12%) get intoxicated (6%) get drunk (2%), because everybody does it (6%) and to forget problems.(web4health 2008) and socio-economic factors. (Report of the Ministerial Task Force on Health Inequalities - Volume 2) The impact of alcohol misuse on the individual includes the risk of contracting many physical diseases including several types of cancers, hypertension, stroke, epilepsy and cirrhosis of the liver. Psychiatric risks include depression, suicidal feelings, personality deterioration, dementia and mental impairments. (WHO Report, 2002). Other effects on the individual include accidents and crime, social relationship, job losses, marriage problems, domestic violence or abuse and devastating impact on families and children. (DOH 2011). On the community or the population, the total cost of alcohol harm is estimated to be between £17.7 billion and £25.1 billion a year, of this, the cost to the NHS is £2.7 billion per year. The other effects on the community are parks/play areas unusable due to litte... ... middle of paper ... ...ying causes of alcohol misuse in order to deduce policies and strategies. The prevalence of drinking problems is affected by per capita consumption and for this reason, alcohol policy needs to take into account both a population’s general level of drinking as well as its patterns of drinking. There is no doubt that patterns of alcohol consumption are important for alcohol-related harm, but so are societal levels of alcohol consumption. According to Bright(1997) nurses lack assertion, mainly because assertive behaviour has in the past not received support from managers of nursing. This has led to a position in which nurses no longer have a role in decisions and policy-making. As a society we must get better at understanding alcohol misuse, if we are to tackle some of the major health, economic and social burdens that face current and future generations.

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