PHE 5001 Community Health Issue Drug Abuse Research

PHE 5001 Community Health Issue Drug Abuse Research


Research Project

Submit a research paper that focuses on a potential practicum project. The project should focus on the background of the public health issue, essential services of public health, purpose of addressing this issue, application of theory, and projected outcomes.

Write a 15–20-page, double-spaced paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.


Utilize at least 7–10 scholarly sources in your research and be sure to include a references page. Write in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and display accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.


Note: Information on the practicum process was provided to you in Week 1.




Community Health Issues


Community health issues are health problems that affect individuals and whose impacts are felt by the general population. Although health affects specific individuals, they lead to issues such as insecurity, slow economic growth, and socialization in a community. Some of the issues are food safety, environmental pollution, nutrition, and drugs overdose. Due to their impacts on communities, states, and the United States, there are several steps taken by private and state organizations to deal with the issues. Issues that are most prevalent in most communities are Drug abuse and mental health illnesses.


Drug Abuse


Drug abuse is a phenomenon whose effects are growing rapidly in most countries in the world. Drug abuse is basically the use of drugs for the purpose for which they are not intended. It also refers to the use of hard drugs such as Cocaine, cream, Meth, and Nicotine. The most affected group in the population is the youths, especially university and college students. Factors that lead to increased drug use include history of addiction in families, peer pressure, and use of highly addictive and mental health issues.


Population Affected and the Impact to the Community


Youths engaged in substance abuse experience multiple numbers of problems. Students who are primarily involved in the abuse experience difficulties in academics leading to declining grades and dropping out. The physical health of the users is also affected. Physical health issues include accidents leading to injuries and diseases. Drug abuse also leads to mental health issues; most drug addict’s end up being depressed and experience personality disorders and withdrawals. Marijuana which is the most abused drug among the youths causes short-term memory. Most health issues may lead to hallucinations and suicidal thoughts (Gilpin et al., 2017). Drug abuse is also a threat to the community and society as a whole. The rise in insecurity has been linked to the menace. Society also faces declined economic growth rates as the productivity of the drug addicts is negatively affected.


Descriptive Statistics


In 2020 multiple surveys in the United States estimated that 22 million people in the United States struggled with drugs and alcohol misuse. The survey also revealed some shocking statistics that 95% of people with drug addiction problems are not aware of their drugs problem. The small percentages of people who are aware of the addiction issue have sought medical treatment unsuccessfully. In California state, 14.2% of young adults aged from 12 to 17 years were using either alcohol or other illicit drugs (Gilpin et al., 2017). The survey also revealed a significant difference in the use of drugs between people of different races. Youths born in the United States had a higher percentage of drug abuse which is 14.2%, while those born outside the United States were found to be 8.0%.


Interventions by the Community and the State


Due to the harmful effects of drug abuse on the individuals and the community, several measures are being taken to reduce the menace. Information dissemination is one of the strategies being used. Community leaders and the state are engaging vulnerable community members on the extent of damage that drug abuse causes. The community has taken the responsibility of increasing the perception of the risks and dangers of drug abuse(Banta et al., 2019). Education that is aimed at improving social skills is also being offered. Social skills being targeted include; decision-making, critical analysis of advertisement and social media information, and the ability to judge situations correctly.


Roles of Organizations Involved in Dealing with Drug Abuse


Healthy activities prevent youths from being trapped by the highs they get from drug abuse. Society is being involved in coming up with activities that will help youths avoid circumstances that may lead to drug abuse. Examples of such activities are; games, attending educational conferences, and being involved in community-based organizations. The community and the state of California have also taken measures to increase drug problem identification among youths and take preventive measures. Identification measures being adopted include screening of behaviors that result from drug abuse. People who are found to have started using drugs are referred to facilities that will help them stop the drug use. The state of California has taken measures that will help the community deal with the drug menace. Some of the measures support community-based organizations fighting drug abuse and supporting institutions such as rehabilitation centers.


Recommendations in the Fight against Drug Abuse


Research has proven that most youths get involved in drug use between leaving school for home and the time they get home. Therefore, community should come up with ways of engaging the youths between the times to reduce exposure to circumstances leading to drug use. Some of such activities may include evening community-based games and sports. In most cases, campaigns that are aimed at fighting drug abuse are aimed at vulnerable groups. The campaign should be redesigned to target parents who are, in most cases, within reach of their children. There should be programs to offer parents skills that help them guide their teenage children in life issues. When teenagers have the right skills from young age, their involvement in using drugs will be minimized.


Mental Health


Mental health is the state of the normal functioning of cognitive, emotions, and behaviors of human beings. It refers to the ability of people to think optimally, feel healthy and behave in accordance with the social standards of good behavior. Mental health also refers to the lack of mental disorder and the ability of a person to be in optimal production. In the recent years that has been a significant decline in mental health. Mental disorders such as depression have increased rapidly, which has necessitated community, state, and federal governments to deal with preventive and curative measures.


Population Affected and the Impact on the Community


Mental health disorders can affect people of all ages but are most prevalent in people aged 18 years and above. Mental health has a lot of effects on the victims. Students pursuing education are affected in a way that they fail to succeed in their quest for good grades. The productivity of the working class is affected, and if not offered support, they may end up losing their jobs. Parents suffering from mental health face the challenge of meeting the needs of their children and raising healthy children. Community and society as a whole is affected by increased mental health issues. Reduced productivity affects the California county economy. Local businesses are faced with the problem of employing highly productive people, and their growth is inhibited(Banta et al., 2019). The county government has been using resources to support the fight against mental health illnesses that would otherwise be used to develop the local economies. Effects of mental health lead to the deterioration of the local economy and poor living standards.


Descriptive Statistics


In California, it is estimated that 26% of people aged 18 years and above, which is 1 in every 4 people, are diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder. Each year, 9.5% of Californians aged 18 years and above are diagnosed with a depressive illness such as bipolar and major depression. Depression in women is estimated to be twice that in men; however, bipolar disorder is estimated to affect both genders equally. While bipolar disorder is estimated to affect 2.6% of Californians aged more than 18 years, the average age at which it starts is estimated to be in the early 20s.


Community and State Interventions


There are several interventions by the community and state government to fight against mental health issues and their effects. One of the interventions is creating mental health awareness. Churches and other community organizations are used to teach people about the causes, effects, and prevention of mental health illnesses. Parents are being advised to be alert to notice any abnormal behaviors in their children. If mental health disorders are noticed and treated from an early age, they can be effectively treated, and victims can learn to live with it without much influence in their living standards. Through donations, community members support institutions such as rehabilitation centers that help fight and treat mental health disorders(Starks et al., 2017). The state government of California has set up mental health facilities and supports privately owned mental health institutions.




Roles of Mental Health Organizations


California organizations involved in mental health issues are involved in roles that seek to prevent and treat mental health issues. Educating the public on the prevention and mental health has proven to reduce the number of people it affects. Members of the community are advised to practice good behavior such as healthy eating and exercises to prevent or mitigate the negative effects of mental health disorders. The county government has to direct learning institutions to develop and enforce anti-bullying policies to prevent stress that results from bullying that leads to depression among school children and students(Starks et al., 2017). Another major issue affecting mental health patients is stigmatization. Mental health organizations are educating the community to learn how to live with people suffering from mental health. The education has reduced stigma, which has helped patients cope with their conditions and achieve faster recovery.


Recommendations to Increase the Effectiveness in the Fight against Mental Health illnesses


Although the government and the community-based organizations have taken successful measures to fight against mental health effects, there are several changes that need to be addressed. To begin with, there is a need to enhance collaboration among stakeholders involved in the mental health issues. By working together, the stakeholders will be able to come up with a coordinated approach that will increase their effectiveness. Secondly, stakeholders need to embrace technology in their activities.  Use of technology will help in the early discovery of mental illnesses, prevention, and effective treatment. Access to mental health care should be improved. Learning institutions and workplaces should be encouraged to avail mental health experts to train learners and employees in handling mental health issues and embracing health practices.


The development of individuals and the community depends on their health status. Individuals with health problems are less productive, which affects their economic well-being. The growth and development of a state is inhibited by the increase in the number of victims of drug abuse and mental health illnesses. Although the state and community-based organizations have shown good will in fighting health issues, there is a need for more collaboration and efforts by the involved groups. Increased efforts will secure a healthy community, a factor that will reflect in their economic and social status.






Banta, J., Segovia-Siapco, G., Crocker, C., Montoya, D., & Alhusseini, N. (2019). Mental health status and dietary intake among California adults: a population-based survey. International Journal Of Food Sciences And Nutrition, 70(6), 759-770.


Gilpin, E., White, M., Distefan, J., Trinidad, D., Lee, J., Major, J., … & Pierce, J. P. (2017). Tobacco Control Successes in California: A Focus on Young People, Results from the California Tobacco Surveys, 1990-2002.


Starks, S., Arns, P., Padwa, H., Friedman, J., Marrow, J., & Meldrum, M. et al. (2017). System Transformation Under the California Mental Health Services Act: Implementation of Full-Service Partnerships in L.A. County. Psychiatric Services, 68(6), 587-595.



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