Child and Family Nursing. Teen Substance Abuse


Many teenagers are involved with illegal or legal drugs in a number of ways. Most of them tend to experiment those drugs during adolescence. Unfortunately, teenagers are not able to link their actions today with the consequences they might face tomorrow and have tendency to feel immune and indestructible to the problems that are experienced by other people. When young people use drugs and alcohol, they increase the risk of using other drugs later in their life.

Some the teenagers will experiment the drug and stop using it while others use it occasionally and others become addicted and use drugs which are more dangerous and of significant harm to their health. During adolescence, there is tendency of trying new things and there are many reasons why drugs are used such as, to reduce stress, to fit in and to feel that they are grown ups. (Kumar, 2005 pp77-85)

Prevention of substance abuse

Parents can do a lot of things to prevent their children from taking alcohol and must have tips that guide children’s behaviors and thoughts. The parent must talk to the child honestly and never wait for the alcohol to talk with the child. Discussions about tobacco, drug and alcohol must be made as part of daily conversation. Help the child to be aware of the facts about the way alcohol can cause harm to them and clear up the wrong information about how everybody is using the alcohol and the family rules set about use of alcohol should be clear and well understood by the child.

The adolescent must be listened to and encourage him or her to share the questions and concerns about alcohol and do not talk a lot or give long lectures. The adolescent must be assisted to have self confidence by looking at good things and tell him how you are proud of him.

The action of the child must be criticized but not the adolescent and praise his success and efforts. Assist the child to develop strong values by teaching him how decisions are made by knowing what is right or wrong and tell the child that those are the standards that the family has set. The parent must set a good example because actions speak louder than words so that they may not tell the child not to take alcohol and they are using them in the family. (Dhawan, 2003 pp33-37)

The child must be taught how to deal with peer pressure and the importance of being an individual who stands by his own principles and the meaning of friendship that is real and not destructive. Family rules must be set in order to help the child say no to alcohol and these rules should not be broken. Creative and healthy activities should be encouraged to reduce excess free time to the child and reduce boredom. Positive friendship should be encouraged and look for activities that you can do together with your child. (Bomar, 2005 pp33-37)

Statistical information relating to substance abuse in Australia

1426 hospital episodes in psychiatric public hospitals were for behavioral and mental disorders because of using psychoactive substances in the year 2001-2002. In public hospitals, 4.3% of the patients had mental disorders. 0.7 people in every 10,000 of Australian population had behavioral and mental disorder because of taking psychoactive substances. Behavioral and mental disorders due to substance abuse last for 71.1 days mean length. Excluding episodes of the same day mean length was nine days of stay in psychiatric hospitals. An estimate of $52,123,000 is spent in Australian public hospitals on drug abuse and alcohol and other disorders. (Braham, 2004 pp42-45)

Impact of health issue on the biopsychosocial development of the child

In promoting child welfare, professionals who are trained help to support marriages and relationships by improving the researcher’s ability to understand the factors that help in relationship, satisfaction and marital stability. The main purpose of improving the marriages and relationship is to help the wellbeing of the child. Research has shown that children who benefit from living with both of their biological parents feel sheltered from detrimental circumstances including substance abuse because they obtain the necessary advice and support from both of their parents and their parents act as their role model in everything they do.

Children who are born to mothers who are not married have high risk of poverty and live in a household of single parent and are not stable in their way of living. Children of divorced parents are depressed, have problems in school and engage in antisocial behavior such as taking alcohol that is harmful to their health. Children living with step parents have risk of having lesser well-being and most of the times are under stress. Given the important benefits associate with child well-being and marriage, efforts must be made to understand circumstances for marital stability and fostering marriage. (Pal, 2003 pp33-36)

Policies (prevention or promotion strategies) within Australia to address this health issue

Families in Australia invite the federal government to start and implement framework for child protection by the year 2008. These families are ready to help the federal government in this because Australia has appalling neglect record and child abuse. For more than a decade, there have been calls by individuals who are concerned and those who are child abuse survivors. Non governmental organizations, academics and practitioners have national plan for combating child abuse due to official figures that indicate that, there has been increase in child abuse and substantiation rates. harrowing and unabated media coverage of violence in the family have frustrated professionals who are working in child protection systems which are overloaded and many stories of firsthand experiences have been told.

The main reasons for increase in substantiations and notifications are complex and explained through increase in public awareness and people making reports willingly. However, it has been made clear that the problems which are co-occurring such as mental illness of parents, homelessness, alcohol, family violence and drug dependence are significant factors. The major reasons that make the trend to be irreversible are due to lack of effective and coordinated system for combating child abuse and neglect. State has day to day handling of these cases to ensure that no child is engaging in taking alcohol because their parents are neglecting taking care of them and giving the appropriate advice. (Jain, 2005 pp11-13)

Strength of the family in selected case study

The family is able to identify specific disorder in the child, assessment, diagnoses and treatment which is appropriate by including strategies and practical plans for invention. The information about impact of taking alcohol on family members and prevention measures are available. Diagnosis of substance abuse is done using statistical manuals that utilizes Australian international classification of diagnosis and a diagnostic tool. A comprehensive overview helps patients with disorders of substance abuse and revisit phenomenon of continued care and responsibilities and role of professionals in health by being conversant with the continuum. Life time services are available to help health care professionals to have good treatment strategy. (Vaswani, 2004 pp23-26)

How families might access support groups or professionals to help in situation such as the case study

Support group’s programs call upon alcoholic to be responsible for their own life at the same time foster self esteem and self acceptance. Individual is encouraged to understand all the dangers involved when drinking is prolonged and offer support needed at recovery stage to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. The families are able to access the support groups by attending meetings that fellow addicts facilitates because they share their support and empathy by telling stories and applying the principles of the program. Counseling helps in emotional healing through education and exploration. The person who is taking alcohol is able to look at issues from a different perspective in order to identify the original causes of drinking and whether it can help him in making constructive choices in his life. (Miller, 2004 pp14-17)

Assessment of the child experiencing the particular physical, development or any other development issues

The child has physical health consequences where there is retarded growth of body tissues and this makes the child to be weak and less resistant to diseases. The child looses body weight most of the time. The child lacks secure attachment to the people he lives together with and feels that his parents, brothers and sisters do not love him or are against him which may not be the case. This makes the child isolate himself because he does not feel that he belongs to his family and thinks that he is discriminated as the other family members are being favored by their parents.

The child has delayed communication and takes a lot of time to master language compared to the rate at which his age mates are able to learn and master language. The behavior of the child is a problem because; he does not differentiate virtues from vices. The child has poor social skills and relations and is not able to cope with other children in the society because his character is quite different from them. When the child is taken to school, he has learning and cognition disabilities and is not able to understand what is being taught at school and may end up repeating the same class for several years. (Ray, 2006 pp12-14)

Critique of evidence based nursing management strategies to assist this child to deal with this health issue

Management strategies examine medical management, experience and how to manage symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, anorexia and fatigue. It provides opportunity to be able to increase knowledge of symptoms which are common and distressing to the patients in order to use management strategies that are appropriate in order to alleviate symptoms and comfort the patient. Aspects of managing symptoms are explored and in particular the ones that are concerned with specialists in clinical practice. (Balhara, 2005 pp63-65)

There is opportunity of getting advanced knowledge and skills on how to control and prevent taking alcohol in a particular concern. The knowledge of management is build and applied in workplace with great emphasis on the needed skills used for managing change. Current learning and application of the knowledge gained is very important so that the child can be taught how to be free from taking alcohol and the dangers that are associated with continued use that is of great risk to their overall health.

The family is informed on how to take care of the child at early stages of their life so that they can develop good habits and become aware of how harmful substance abuse is before they reach at an age when they can be tempted to experiment due to peer pressure or bad company that may introduce them to it. knowledge about basic mechanisms that underlie taking alcohol action and how these alcohol acts on body systems is provided in order to deal with effects of abusing drugs. Registered nurses are allowed to acquire skills and additional knowledge to be able to work as nurse practitioners and have the skills of ordering medications and be capable of treating various cases of substance abuse. (Gutpa, 2006 pp12-14)

Explanation of nurse’s role in this situation to facilitate management process

The school nurse provides students with direct care in case of substance abuse and long-term management of students who need special health care. His responsibilities involve assessment and offering treatment with the nursing profession and communicating with the parents, supervision and provision of nursing care that is prescribed. The nurse manages his plan and communicates to school personnel and ensure that every child is provided with individual health care. (Mohad, 2003 pp23-26)

The nurse is the leader in providing health services because he is the expert in health care and assess overall system of health care and comes up with a plan for meeting all health needs. He develops plans that respond to emergencies and all disasters and documents health information of students and provides confidential communication. Referral and health conditions are screened by the nurse to decrease negative effects of problems related to health by identifying students who are affected and providing appropriate treatment.

The nurse ensures the environment is healthy by providing emotional and physical safety to ensure that there are no cases of taking alcohol that go unnoticed. The nurse comes up with implementation plan to manage and prevent violence, disaster and bullying and coordinate with counselors to develop plans for preventing abuse. (Dhawan, 2004 pp35-38)


Substance abuse is a complicated problem that comes as a result of combining psychological, environmental and hereditary factors. It affects people at all ages from neonatal stage up to old age. Infants of people who abuse drugs suffer because of being neglected or due to effects of drug abuse by their parents. As they reach childhood, they develop antisocial behavior, lack of self esteem, disorder of deficit in attention and depression. This make adolescents abuse drugs and it is very difficult to identify drug abuse and how to recover from it because many people who abuse drugs hide their addiction. (Dhawan, 2005 pp174-175)


Miller B. (2004): protecting children: Journal of human behavior in social environment, pp. 14-17.

Ray R. (2006): an experimental study of tolerance among alcohol: dependent individuals, pp. 12-14.

Dhawan A. (2004): social support in treatment seeking heroin dependent and alcohol: dependent patients, pp. 35-28.

Mohad D. (2003): Rapid assessment survey project on alcohol: Report on Ethnography, pp. 23-26.

Gupta I. (2006): global study on illegal drugs market: Delhi Report, pp. 12-14.

Dhawan A. (2003): project on psychotropic substance abuse: New Delhi, pp. 33-37.

Kumar A. (2005): long term treatment of substance abuse: Manual for physicians, pp. 77-85.

Dhawan A. (2005): Substance abuse in Adolescents: manual for substance use disorder, pp. 174-175)

Balhara S. (2005): inhalant abuse: Manual for physicians, pp. 63-65.

Vaswani M. (2004): an experimental study on tolerance among alcohol dependent individuals: medical research journal, pp. 23-26.

Jain R. (2005): abuse liability through different routes: Journal of physiology, pp. 11-13.

Pal H. (2003): Treatment non-seeking in alcohol users: Journal of studies in alcohol, pp. 33-36.

Braham P. (2004): Relapse precipitants in opiate addiction: Journal of Psychiatry pp. 42-45.

Bomar P. (2005): Nurses and family health promotion: WB Saunders, pp. 33-37.

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