The population health issue selected is substance abuse. Substance abuse refers to the overdependence on an addictive substance, particularly drugs or alcohol. The substance abuse has been common among several types of population, such as the minority group, the wealthy class, youths, and even women. The current paper will discuss the substance abuse as a health issue affecting the minority group in the United States. It will also address the legal consideration for advocacy campaigns on the improvement of the quality of health among such type of population. Moreover, the ethical dilemmas associated with this population and the advocacy campaigns will be addressed.
Part One: Advocacy Programs and New Policy
Many programs have been developed to advocate for the improvement of the health issues among the population because there is a rise in drugs abuse, especially for the youths in the minority group. One of the programs has been an effective advocate for laws and policies that promotes the access to and the distribution of treatment and recovery services to the minority groups. Moreover, it has advocated for the elimination of the policies that discriminate the way this population access the treatment for the addictive disorders. Advocacy program is the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. The program is implemented in New Jersey and works in collaboration with the communities, families, and individuals affected by drug and alcoholism dependence to promote recovery through impressive treatment and prevention initiatives. The program has been operative for over 30 years to minimize the dishonor linked to the addictive illnesses and to advocate for and enhance recovery. The program was founded in1945 by Marty Mann.
Another program that advocates for the improvement of health issue is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It aims at improving the outcomes of the individuals suffering from the substance abuse disorders and the associated mental illnesses. Through this program, individuals with health problems due to substance abuse can be treated with the belief and knowledge that recovery is possible and their conditions can be controlled successfully. The program has been widely applied to and accepted by the families, peers, communities, and other advocates, such as the U.S. Surgeon General and the Institute of Medicine. The program aims at improving the employment for the youths, education, improving the living conditions by developing good housing, illness management, aggressive community treatment, and per-oriented services. For example, a total of 2 recovery high schools have been established in the United States to minimize the risk conditions for youth with drug abuse disorders. The institutions have been reported to have high retention rates and low reversion rates.
The SAMHSA program has such attributes as cultural competencies. They allow the advocates to understand the different norms and values of every individual with a different cultural background. It further promotes effective delivery of treatment services and the recovery initiatives. The practitioners have a deep understanding of the community setting they are serving and have the desires, motivations, and skills to work in such areas and with the minority groups. It means that they have the capability to assess the prevention processes, work with people of different education levels, understand the customs of the individuals and the community-based values, and implement the plans that the program develops. The program is also committed to discussing the heath disparities by offering linguistically and culturally suitable prevention, recovery support, and treatment programs. The commitment ensures that there is an equitable access, use and results of the services provision to the minority groups and other races. Furthermore, the program also applies the preventive approach that is suitable for a simultaneous creation of resiliency, measurable recovery, wellness, and improving the quality of life.
On the other hand, NCADD based in New Jersey also works with the goal of eliminating the addiction that hinders the population members, especially the youths to attain the employment opportunities. It releases journal news that addresses the issue of addiction and its adverse impacts to discourage the youths from indulging in such acts. It operates other programs, such as the substance abuse initiative and behavioral health initiative that aim at eliminating the drug addiction. It has several programs, including the general advocacy and community education services that receive funds from the open society foundations grants to enable them address the problem of alcohol and drug addiction.
The new health advocacy campaign plan will be targeted on the minority groups that are highly affected by drug abuse. The health issue that will be campaigned for is the addiction of substance abuse. The plan aims at developing a new policy on how the treatment and prevention services are distributed in the community. Over the past years, there has been a disparity in the prevention and treatment services offered to the minority groups. The new policy aims at enhancing an equitable and fair distribution of the services to the minority groups that have been neglected previously. Approximately half of the minority groups do not receive the complete drug treatment as compared to the whites, including the Native Americans, with their percentage of treatment administration at more than 62%.
The objective that is to be achieved is to promote an equal, fair and equitable treatment and prevention services on substance addiction, and to eliminate such addictions. The daily news journal, official media, public conferences and seminars will be applied to convey the policy to be implemented to the stakeholders. The community, including the youths in the minority groups, will be enticed and encouraged to support the policy for their benefit. Besides, the policy will receive support from other agencies involved in the healthcare and quality of life improvement, such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, by convincing them to implement the policy for the benefit of the society. The attributes of the advocacy programs will be applied to the advocacy campaign by ensuring that the stakeholders in the campaign understand the community culture, obtain the support from other agencies on drug abuse control, and conduct the campaign with the goal of achieving equitable access, use, and results of the program activities.
Part Two: Legal Consideration
The policy proposed will be enacted through the adjustment to the existing law. There are regulations set by the national institute on drug abuse to ensure that the provision of treatment and prevention services on drug addiction is equitable. However, such regulations are not followed by many practitioners in the field. It may occur due to the difficulty in the access to the minority population. Nevertheless, strict compliance to the laws should be modified to enforce the practitioners and the advocacy programs to ensure that their programs also target the displaced or isolated groups in the society. As a result, such policy will not be a new legislation but just a modification of already created laws with regards to compliance to its enforcement.
The existing laws will affect the policy in several ways. Besides, enhancing the equal distribution of the drug treatment and the existing laws will also ensure that the treatments are done in a safe way, preventing occurrence of other emerging disorders. For example, laws on restriction of heroin use in the eliminating and treatment of drug dependency will support the policy because the treatment will be done in a safer way. The department of health and drug abuse has developed the policies that aim at reducing the unfair powder against crack cocaine sentencing disparity and revising the compulsory sentencing policies.
Such polices will ensure that instead of imprisoning the drug abusers, they will be rehabilitated and administered a recovery programs that will help them reduce the overdependence on the drugs. It will positively impact the proposed policy as it will ensure that the youths from the minority groups who are sentenced unfairly receive the treatment and prevention services for the drug abuse. Additionally, the government has developed the rules that would ensure that the best approaches to drug abuse would be applied, using the preventing methods such as empowering, training and education the youths on the adverse effects of the drugs. It will eliminate the reactive approaches that involve different treatment methods after an individual has been significantly affected by the drug addiction.
The policies developed by the government will support the proposed methods. It will receive both financial and technical support to enhance an equal distribution of such preventing methods to the minority group. Finally, the existing legislations will impact the policy in the sense that the government will support it. It is caused by the fact that the existing legislation to expand the drug abuse treatment to millions developed by the government will ensure that the youths in the minority groups are targeted and encouraged to refuse from drug abuse. Moreover, it will be done in line with the proposed policy. Generally, several existing laws will support the offered advocacy because the policy proposed in the advocacy corresponds to the government policies and drug abuse acts that aim at expanding the drug addiction elimination and treatment to millions of people. It is done in agreement with the proposed policy’s objective of enhancing the equitable distribution of the drug treatment and prevention to the minority groups.
The “three legs” of lobbying lies on the three main aspects. The three aspects must be present for the advocacy to be successful. The first aspect is the capitol. It is concerned with the law and policy makers such as tee state legislature, county or city council, and the U.S. Congress. Here, the advocacy will be passed to the state officials such as the county council and it will be discusses for the effective implementation of the proposed policy. To influence the policy makers, the legislative agenda will be distributed to them and host an annual lobby day at the premises or offices of such legislators. Moreover, the influence can be achieved by arranging visits between individuals and the legislators from their districts. Finally, the policymakers will be influenced by conducting a testimony in person or a written document highlighting the issues of priority.
The second tool is the grass roots. Here, the policymakers will be influenced through making a telephone call, discussing the issue very time. Moreover, the policymakers can be influenced by attending a candidate forum or meetings at a town hall with elected officials to discuss the policy proposed. Finally, the last aspect is the media. The policymakers will be influenced by the contributing to publicizing national reports. It includes such approaches as surveys on emergency needs, assisting high school journalists, creating a number of the issues impacting the youth, turning into the media while asking a question to the elected officials, and posting facts and figures on the health issues on community bulletin boards.
One of the most common obstacles to the legislative process for the implementation of the advocated policy is the oppositions and political manipulations that aim at preventing the policy from implementation. Other obstacles include the complexity in making a new policy as the constitutional requirements have to be followed and the policy must be valid and implemented according to the law. Furthermore, the difficulty of changing the law can be an obstacle for the implementation of the policy advocated. The best way to overcome the obstacles is to ensure that the policy is constitutional, consider the reactions and opinions from different parties involved and seek for approval from the policymakers before calling for its implementation.
Part Three: Ethical Dilemmas
The ethical dilemmas that could arise during the advocacy campaign relate to the adherence to the ethical codes of conducts in the healthcare promotion practices. One of the ethical dilemmas is the failure to include the community in the formulation of the policy. Ethical codes state that the healthcare improvement campaign should involve professionals from different disciplines and the community at large. In some case, the professionals such as the lawyers and economists may be ignored when formulating the policy. Moreover, the community at large, including the community leaders, youths, and women can also be ignored during the development of the new policy.
It can be an ethical dilemma because the community's views and perspectives towards the new policy can be ignored. It may result in a policy that is not acceptable by some of the community groups and other professionals such as the financiers, thereby contributing to its failure. Furthermore, the campaign can be characterized by an ethical dilemma regarding the lack of integrity and observing healthcare values. Failure to maintain integrity and to report the truth about the provision of the drug prevention and treatment services to the minority people can be an ethical dilemma, as well. When the reports about such services are not trustworthy and unreliable, integrity in the healthcare promotion is diminished and hence, the policymakers and the community may not support the policy.
Moreover, an ethical dilemma that may emerge is the failure to educate the community and other relevant groups on the importance of the policy. The practitioners in the advocacy campaigns are expected to contribute to the knowledge development, education, implementation of the ideas into practice, and administer the necessary policies that promote the quality of the society. Consequently, there can be a possibility that such practices are not observed during the campaign and the youths are not made aware of the policy befits. Such failure is considered a problem that needs to be addressed. Another important ethical dilemma is privacy or confidentiality. When campaigning for the advocacy policy, there should be limits to which the conducts and actions of the youths in the minority groups or the minority group population in general should be limited in the campaign. Their private and confidential information should be handled with moderation to avoid stigmatization, social separations, and negative stereotypes in the society.
The solutions to the ethical dilemmas include applying facts and figures when reporting the issues related to the minority groups to avoid any stigmatization or negative perception towards them in the society, and assessing the outcome of the drug abuse treatment and prevention outcomes on the minority group and seek how to improve them. The improvements can be made by empowering the youths, expanding their knowledge on the impacts of the drugs on their lives, and the benefits they can achieve by reducing or avoiding the dependence on the drug addiction. Another way of resolving the ethical dilemmas is to observe the ethical values, norms and laws that have been implemented to provide guidance on the healthcare promotion practice. Such laws and regulations on ethical practice will serve as a guide during the advocacy campaigns, and prevent the drawbacks.
The ethics laws applicable to the advocacy include the avoidance of false communication where the campaigner should not provide unreliable and invalid information to the policymakers, the community or even the media. Additionally, another applicable law is establishing, keeping and executing professional standards and values in educational and healthcare promotion practices. Furthermore, there should be advancements in the healthcare promotion or improvement in the quality of life of the community by participating actively in the proposed healthcare policy and other clinical and nursing policies, such as drug abuse treatment and prevention programs. Another ethics laws applicable to such advocacy campaign is becoming concerned with the health need and problems of the individuals and the community as a whole.
The law states that the advocacy campaign should be done in such a way that the communities' and individuals' needs and concerns are fully addressed. The campaign should enhance the access to health and quality drug abuse treatment and prevention services to all the victims. It is, therefore, important to take the responsibility to promote health and improve quality life to the public when campaigning for the advocacy. The reports provided during the campaign should be ethical by observing the element of integrity and inter-professional values. Moreover, the reports should be sensitive to emergence of stigma and social isolation in the society.
Subsequently, the ethical challenges in the population have been common to the given group in society. The most common is the challenge of balancing the service to such people because there is inadequate number of nurses that can serve the whole population equally. As a result, there is an ethical challenge of inequality in serving this population. In addition, the issue of racial and ethnic superiority is a challenge among the members of the group. The society perceives that the minority groups are inferior to other groups in the country. It makes them neglected and ignored when distributing the treatment and prevention services on the drug abuse. Another ethical challenge is the confidentiality and privacy of information concerning their conducts. The information about such type of population is shared without observing the ethics laws, thereby posing an ethical challenge.
The minority group members are widely affected by the different substances abuse that has many negative impacts on their lives. Deep understanding of the cultural values and norms of the community to be served is crucial for the successful implementation of the advocacy programs. When communicating to the policymakers and other stakeholders about the proposed policy, the “three legs” of lobbying philosophy should be applied to influence them to accept and implement it. Furthermore, ethical consideration should be observed when campaigning for the advocacy.