The practice problem that I discussed in weeks 1 and 2 was alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is a major problem globally and locally for my home state as well. Common barriers in addressing this problem are lack of treatment facilities, patient’s reluctance to seek help, treatment compliance, high potential for relapses, perceived treatment efficacy, and perceived treatment need (Pinedo, Zemore, & Rogers, 2018). Alcohol use has continued to increase over the past decades and is predicted to continue increasing as well worldwide (Shield, Manthey, Rylett, Probst, Wettlaufer, Parry, & Rehm, 2020). This expected increase is even a bigger problem than the barriers for treatment. The real question in battling this practice problem should be why is this practice problem expected to increase and what can we to do prevent this? Yes, that sounds simple in theory, however alcohol abuse has been a problem for many decades and we still yet don’t have an answer to this or a solution.
Strategies to adopt awareness of new evidence for this practice problem would be educating the public on the dangers of alcohol and how it can lead to alcohol abuse. I think this is the first step for primary prevention of the problem. Regarding patient’s that this is already a problem in, strategies that might help to overcome some of the issues that we face as barriers might include opening more treatment facilities and doing our best to remove the stigma that is associated with addiction. I think as primary care providers it is also useful to implement questionnaires that could lead to the identification of alcohol abuse such as the cage questionnaire. By being able to identify alcohol abuse in our patient’s we are able to talk to them about alcohol abuse, options for treatment, and potential complications for the future (Taylor Jr, El-Sabawi, & Cangin, 2016).
I think the regarding alcohol use it is important to be implement all of these strategies. Alcohol abuse is a problem that affects people both physically and mentally. It also affects not only the patient themselves but the family members and friends of this patient. It is important to implement all of this evidence because this practice problem needs to include prevention and treatment. Prevention is necessary to hopefully decrease this problem or prevent it from getting worse. Treatment is needed for the already high numbers of patient’s that are suffering from this problem. As far as the continuation or sustainability of these changes that can be difficult to ensure. By providing more treatment facilities, this does ensure that we have more places for people to be seen for this practice problem. By implementing the cage questionnaires, this also helps to identify problems early on or problems in people that don’t see their alcohol use as a problem. However, alcohol abuse is a problem that requires the patient to be ready as well for this to be successful. We can aid the patient in success by encouraging them, being positive, and not ever putting blame or guilt on them. Relapses are common in this population and is necessary that we are able to identify this as part of the disease process and not noncompliance or failure.
Pinedo, M., Zemore, S., & Rogers, S. (2018). Understanding barriers to specialty substance abuse treatment among Latinos. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 94, 1-8.
Shield, K., Manthey, J., Rylett, M., Probst, C., Wettlaufer, A., Parry, C. D., & Rehm, J. (2020). National, regional, and global burdens of disease from 2000 to 2016 attributable to alcohol use: a comparative risk assessment study. The Lancet Public Health, 5(1), e51-e61.
Taylor Jr, P., El-Sabawi, T., & Cangin, C. (2016). Improving alcohol screening for college students: screening for alcohol misuse amongst college students with a simple modification to the CAGE questionnaire. Journal of American college health, 64(5), 397-403.