Personal safety is a very broad topic, ranging from a risk for falls to risk for infection. It is the duty of the nurse to prevent any unsafe events from happening to their patients in the healthcare facility in which they work, in addition to teaching patients about how to minimize risks in their home environment. Certain populations are at greater risk for injury or harm for many reasons such as impaired cognition and immobility, both of which relate to substance abusers. The effect of any drug increases the risk for unsafe events to occur.
Several months ago Trish, an18-year-old senior in high school, made her way to a private rave where she was introduced to ketamine and consumed large amounts of alcohol. Since the first rave, she has developed a relationship with the young man who initially injected her with ketamine, and continues to party every weekend. Her tolerance for ketamine and alcohol is increasing, and she must now consume three times the amount previously needed for her to feel the desired effect. She also drives herself to and from the raves and does not allow enough time for the effects of the drugs to wear off. Due to the physical effects of the tranquilizers and alcohol, Trish has put herself in a position to cause serious harm to her and others. She is also now an easy target for anyone wanting to take advantage of her altered physical and mental state.
Drug Effects and Risks
The effects of ketamine and alcohol are very similar. Ketamine is a tranquilizer that is used in operations and other medical procedures. Because of the anesthetic effect, users do not feel pain which could lead to several types of injuries (“Ketamine”). An example would be if Tri...
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...d prevent the patient from tripping over unfamiliar objects while under the anesthetic effects of ketamine and alcohol.
Safety is essential to the health of all people. Young adults like Trish are notorious for taking risks in regard to their health and safety; therefore, they may require more teaching about safe practices. Ketamine and alcohol have such strong cognitive and physical effects on individuals that the personal safety of the abuser may be put at risk. The nurse must develop a plan for the care of patients who are compliant and noncompliant with professionals’ efforts to help the individual cease or limit their amount of drug and alcohol consumption. Through careful screenings and implementation of the interventions discussed, many substance abusers may re-evaluate the immediate danger posed to their personal safety by using these substances.
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