Pages:4 (1126 words)
Health Communications: Minority Youth Substance Abuse Solutions
Introduction: Why a Public Health Campaign is Needed
The rise of the opioid epidemic in America has been well documented by researchers (Nelson, Juurlink & Perrone, 2015; Manchikanti et al., 2012). As millions of youths are at risk of succumbing to substance abuse via street drugs and opioids, the need for a public health campaign is evident (Murthy, 2016). The issue of reducing the spread of substance abuse among minority youths is particularly important because a high percentage of those who become addicted to or substance abusers is found in minority populations and particularly high among Asian Americans (Winter, 2016). In order to prevent the spread of substance abuse among minority youth, a public health campaign should be developed and implemented.
A Key Element of Health Communication
A key element of health communication that is essential for a public health leader dealing with this particular issue and this particular population is to have an adequate mode of communication. Another tool, however, is the ability to monitor the effectiveness of the campaign: that means it must be possible to obtain feedback using data collection instruments such as surveys to see how well the message is getting out and how well it is leading to the kind of results that are desired. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and one of the key elements of health communication recommended by Smit-Kroner and Brumby (2015) is the use of health information to raise or increase the population’s health literacy—i.e., the community’s understanding of the issue, the risks associated with substance abuse in this case and the ways to prevent the spread of substance abuse among the minority youth population. Increasing knowledge is a crucial part of the health communication campaign.
The first step to developing an effective public health campaign is to research the problem and collect as much data on the issue as possible. Once that data is collected, an effective intervention must be…
…Today’s powerful social justice movement shows that youths are ready to take ownership of the future—and combating substance abuse falls right in line with their core values. For that reason, the way to overcome the challenge of managing the scope of this problem is to focus on harnessing the power of the social justice movement and directing those participants to embracing and working for this public health campaign. The message to be delivered has to focus on how stopping the scourge of the opioid epidemce depends on them—the minority youth—taking action and holding each other accountable. It has to be more than a “just say no” message: it has to be a message in which the youths are informed, touched by their own daily experiences, and made aware that they can do something to turn this problem around. Using the power of social media to manage the scope of this problem and raise local support that can generate the kind of grassroots assistance required is exactly the way to overcome…
Nelson, L. S., Juurlink, D. N., & Perrone, J. (2015). Addressing the opioid epidemic. Jama, 314(14), 1453-1454.
Manchikanti, L., Fellows, B., Janata, J. W., Pampati, V., Grider, J. S., & Boswell, M. V. (2012). Opioid epidemic in the United States. Pain Physician, 15(3 Suppl), ES9-38.
Murthy, V. H. (2016). Ending the opioid epidemic—a call to action. New England Journal of Medicine, 375(25), 2413-2415.
Smit-Kroner, C. & Brumby, S. (2015). Farmers sun exposure, skin protection, and public health campaigns: An Australian Perspective. Preventive Medicine Reports 2, 602-607.
Velasquez, A., & LaRose, R. (2015). Youth collective activism through social media: The role of collective efficacy. New Media & Society, 17(6), 899-918.
Winter, T. (2016). Addiction among different races. Retrieved from https://sunrisehouse.com/addiction-demographics/different-races/
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