Research Paper Adolescent Development Due

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Heroin/Drug Use

The United States is facing a growing opioids crisis. In 2016, an estimated 11.8 million Americans misused opioids over the past year.Of these, an estimated 2.1 million are suffering from opioid use disorder. Over 63,600 people died from drug-related overdoses in 2016, most of which were opioids- related.This represented a significant increase over previous years, with much of the growth due to spikes in the use of heroin and fentanyl, a deadly synthetic.

The crisis may be accelerating. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that the number of suspected opioid overdoses treated in hospital emergency rooms increased by 30 percent over 14 months from 2016-2017.

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Whereas older teens are more likely to use prescription medications—particularly opioid pain relievers like Vicodin and heroin. In fact, the Monitoring the Future survey of adolescent drug use and attitudes shows that prescription and over-the-counter medications account for a majority of the drugs most commonly abused by high-school seniors. A recent report showed that teens’ use of most illegal drugs is at an all-time low. In fact, teens’ use of opioids, tobacco, and alcohol is at the lowest level it’s been since 1975, the year that NIDA started the Monitoring the Future survey. That’s very good news.

But another recent statistic about teens and drugs isn’t good at all: More teens in the United States are overdosing on drugs than ever before—and more of them are dying as a result. Beginning in 2015, the number of teen overdose deaths began increasing. After dropping for a few years, it went up to 3.7 deaths for every 100,000 teens. That translates into a total of 772 teen overdose deaths in 2015 (the most recent year for which data are available).

What caused this change? Most teen overdoses in 2015 were related to two drugs: the opioid heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. These are dangerous drugs that slow down a person’s breathing and can make them stop breathing altogether—causing a fatal overdose.Only a tiny amount of fentanyl is needed to make a person “high,” so a lot of drug dealers are adding it to other drugs. As a result, many teens don’t even know what’s in the drugs they’re taking. address why it is of significance to the field of social work.

As social workers, it is significant because we are trained to identify and assess the needs of our clients beyond what first presents. One of the initial functions of a social worker, whether in a school, hospital, mental health clinic or private practice is to perform a comprehensive assessment on a client, always taking into account potential substance and alcohol abuse issues, even if the client does not self-disclose the problem. As a social worker, you assess for substance abuse problems in both voluntary or self-referred and involuntary or mandated clients. According to the National Association of Social Workers, you will work with your clients to “complete a comprehensive assessment toward the development of a service plan for recommended placement into an appropriate treatment program” (NASW). It is not about providing, but more about recognizing the warning signs and suggesting a referral of treatment.Having a understanding of the significance of this “epidemic”is important because as social workers, we act as substance abuse counselors in a variety of settings, including hospitals, drug treatment facilities and mental health clinics. Our graduate social work education includes substance abuse education, and adolescent development, it is critical to have knowledge in how a teens brain is effected by drug use and how child development can lead to potential use. According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (ACE), a score done on a child or adolescent can be a indicator of future high risks of drug use. Adverse childhood experiences have been strongly linked to subsequent substance use; likewise, childhood trauma, is associated with increased opioid use years later.

Social workers may also take on the role as substance abuse educators, such as in schools, community outreach centers, foster care facilities and shelters, and you may be expected to give presentations on substance abuse prevention at a school if you work in a community organization that provides this service. Or, you may have a position, where you might have to reach out to, at-risk adolescents on the street, in community organizations or at recreation centers. Having the ability to refer, screen, assess and place in treatment centers will contribute to an elimination of this epidemic. Social workers also can engage in academic research, and participate in substance abuse prevention research, such as helping with the development of empirically-validated intervention and treatment strategies. According to the Social Work Policy Institute, social work researchers have performed drug abuse research recently and with reinforcement from governmental agencies, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute of Mental Health,(SWPI) we can have an impressionable impact in curbing the heroin epidemic.

Conceptual frameworks are maps constructed to define the causal relationship between a problem and the factors contributing to it. A key step in the understanding of a problem to be studied is the development of a conceptual framework. As Wolfson’s quote describes, the conceptual framework is a preliminary model of the problem under study, and is reflective of relationships among critical variables of interest. To begin with, in order to successfully understand conceptual frameworks there must be a clear definition of how the various identified factors contributing to a problem relate to each other

According to Dasgupta, Beletsky, and Ciccarone, the heroin crisis in adolescents is fundamentally fueled by economic and social disruptions, its etiology closely linked to the role of opioids as a refuge from physical and psychological trauma, low socioeconomic status, isolation, and hopelessness. (Dasgupta, Beletsky,& Ciccarone). Key antecedents are physicians as unaware prescribers and pharmaceutical companies as selfish promoters. My background in pharmaceutical sales, with Vicodin being my number one prescribing medication. I can testify from personal experience both sides of this contributing cause. I witnessed the pharmaceutical industry first hand contribute to flooding the physicians offices, increasing the prescribing habits and to a lesser degree try to turn around a system that was heading to disaster. We as pharmaceutical reps would educate physicians on how to increase prescribing and at the same time educate them on how to combat addictive behaviors to patients with pain. We ignored the root causes. According to King & Harper as overall opioid prescriptions have increased, so too have prescribed dosages. For example, a study of workers’ compensation claims in the state of Washington showed that the average daily morphine-equivalent dose (MED) of long-acting opioids increased 50% between 1996 and 2002 and exceeded the recommended “red flag” dose by 2005.(King & Harper 2014).

Declining economic opportunity, advancements in approaches to pain treatment, and limited drug treatment have caused increases in problematic substance use, of which opioid overdose is the most visible manifestation. By ignoring the underlying drivers of the drug consumption, current interventions are aggravating its course needed for change. The structural and social determinants of drug use framework is widely understood to be critical in responding to the heroin epidemic. Until we adopt this framework, we will continue to fail in our efforts to turn the tide of the opioid crisis.

A variety of factors contribute to drug use and other problem outcomes, both individual and environmental. While drug prevention and treatment have traditionally focused on changing individual behaviors, such efforts can have only limited impact when changes are not made to the environment, that is, to the social determinants of drug use. These include the social and cultural environment, the economic environment and the physical environment.

According to Spooner and Hetherington Society is undergoing rapid change, for example, more parents are working, longer working hours, changes to family structure, higher divorce rates, disconnection in the family unit and social media addictions are concerns that societal institutions such as, childcare and educational institutions are not coping sufficiently with this change. This situation may be contributing to the negative trends in drug use and other psychosocial problems(Spooner & Hetherington).Anxiety in adolescents is at all time high.!!!!!!! In the article the authors speak about the developmental periods in early adolescents, and how they have changed in the last century. “The period of adolescence has been extended (resulting in a longer period of dependence upon parents and few responsibilities); adolescents spend less time interacting with adults in the normal course of life and more time exclusively with peers; there is greater societal emphasis on tertiary education for career prospects and less certainty about the future.”(Spooner & Hetherinton)

Timely, high quality, and impactful research is needed to address the burgeoning opioid epidemic in the United States. CDC conducts research to assess public health burden, identify risk and protective factors, develop and evaluate preventive interventions, and promote widespread adoption of effective strategies. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) established research priorities to address opioid overdose prevention (Table 1) in 2015. To assess progress in addressing these priorities, the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (DUIP) conducted a review of activities, short-term outputs, and long-term outputs associated with intramural and extramural research from 2012 to 2018. Given the need to obtain input quickly with the expanding epidemic and increase in budget to address it, DUIP developed key questions to guide a “rapid” review of our research priorities and activities, generated a logic model, and summarized overall progress with a high-level perspective. NCIPC is soliciting input and recommendations from the NCIPC Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) to consider progress in addressing the research objectives, and determine need and provide recommendations for updating the agenda to address the evolving opioid epidemic.

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Research Paper Adolescent Development Due. (2021, May 10). Retrieved from