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How community nurse can promote health literacy about drug abuse to adolescents


Health literacy is significantly a new idea in health promotion. It entails the outcomes of health communication and society activities. Regarding this, health education is aimed at improving health literacy. This paper looks at how a community nurse can promote health literacy about drug abuse to adolescents. It recognizes the importance of providing health literacy to young people since the education will help them even in future. The paper goes on to discuss the primary healthcare of the adolescents in a community center whereby there is a drop in clinic for the under 20’s. Under the under the 20s, Adolescents have been chosen as the target group. This category is considered to be the most affected group by drug abuse. It looks at the health care needs of the adolescents in the communication center; it then explores the social determinants of the adolescents within the defined setting. Finally, it recommends on the best measures that need to be implemented to promote health literacy about drug abuse among the adolescents. These implementations are majorly based on the community nurses but can apply to any willing individual.


Wei et al. (2013) define health literacy as a branch of health promotion in healthcare that describes various outcomes of health education and activities undertake through communication. The primary aims of community nurses while conducting health literacy is to achieve a healthy community (Wei et al. 2013). Healthy community definition as stated by Wei et al. (2013) is that place where prioritization of belonging is high and significant. The socialization of the members of the community and their surroundings equates to their health. While a nurse conducts health literacy about drug abuse to adolescents as their target group, it is essential that they consider the various factors which influence people’s health (Sørensen et al. 2012). This act will be of importance because they will be in a position of developing means through which their literacy education is going to be effective.

Some of the factors that influence people’s health inclusive of the adolescents are age and gender, the place they live, lifestyle, education, income and the social class that they belong. A social determinant is defined as the major, and minor factors that have an influence on the health of the target group and, in this case, are the adolescents. Before taking any action in promoting health literacy among the adolescents on drug abuse, it is good that the community nurse a clear picture of the primary healthcare in the setting. Primary healthcare is the sets of principles that guide the creation of socially just and equitable conditions for good health. Some of the principles of primary health care are the Accessible health care of the region, appropriate technology, health promotion, Intersectoral Collaboration, Communication participation, Cultural sensitivity or safety (Gámez-Guadix et al. 2013).

Reasons for educating adolescents about drug abuse

According to Whitley et al. (2013), adolescence is a very tender age. Children in this group are on the verge of moving from childhood to adulthood. During this point in time, most of the adolescents consider themselves as adults and thus have the perception that they can make decisions for themselves. Peer pressure is the greatest factor that affects this category. They mostly tend to be influenced by groupthink and make decisions in a group (Whitley et al. 2013). Their peers easily influence them. It is brought about because they want to try out new things. Unsafe sex, drug abuse, and alcoholism are among the major things that adolescents fall prey to them. It is the role of adults to be aware of this stage and be ready to educate their kids about safe sex and the harms associated with drug abuse and alcoholism (Dermota et al. 2013). Proving health literacy to this category of people is the best initiative as a treatment over cure model put into practice. Having knowledge at this young age, they will grow up to be knowledgeable adults who are aware of the dangers associated with drug abuse. They will also be aware of the measures to be taken when an individual or their child engages in substance addiction. This act in itself will be a very famous campaign against the use of drug abuse to the current and the coming generations (Sawyer et al. 2012).

Advocating for primary healthcare through relevant approaches in the specified setting

On the verge of seeking to promote health literacy about the effects of drug abuse on adolescents, it is important that the community nurse identifies the primary healthcare. Primary healthcare is a set of principles that guide the creation of socially just and equitable conditions for good health (Schulz & Nakamoto 2013). Examples of these principles that guide the development of socially just and equal terms for good health are Accessible health care of the region, appropriate technology, health promotion, Intersectoral Collaboration, Communication participation, Cultural sensitivity or safety. A community nurse should see that he or she makes sure all the adolescents get access to health (Livingston et al. 2013). It does imply not only to medical access but also to health education. It is through this health education that the youngsters receive education on the harmful effects that drug abuse has on a person as an individual and how it negatively impacts the whole community. The community nurse can organize various visits to secondary schools to provide this information. The majority of the high school students are the ones under the stage of adolescents. During these programs, health education will then be made available to the students, and thus, health literacy will have been promoted Scull, Kupersmidt & Erausquin, 2014). Community nurses should make sure that they treat adolescents who have been affected by drug abuse by the use of the most suitable and efficient technology. If the clinics lack this equipment, it is their role to advocate for the target group to the government so that the equipment provided. Some of this equipment are the likes of X-rays (Batterham et al. 2016). Community nurses should make sure that they collaborate among themselves while providing health literacy and primary health care for the adolescents. Lack of collaboration should be discouraged at all courses. When the workforce does not cooperate while giving out services, it is a guarantee that quality service achievement becomes impossible. The nurses should also collaborate with the community and the government for the health literacy programs to be effective. For health literacy to be active among the adolescents on drug abuse, the whole society must be involved in the practice. It will help bound the effects that might arise due to the difference in cultures between the community nurses and the particular adolescents. The government should cheap into amend drug abuse education in educational institutions and provide funds that will facilitate the spread of health literacy to the adolescents (Viner et al. 2012).

Identifying the social determinants and the health needs and devising correcting measures for applying to the adolescents

Social determinants are the factors that have an influence on the health of a group of people. Various factors impact the adolescents. Age and gender, genetics, the place people live, their culture, lifestyle, education, income, and the social class create the main factors that impact adolescents. Among these, age, the place they live, culture, lifestyle, education and social class are the primary factors that influence the adolescents (Prochaska et al. 2014). Community nurses ought to identify these factors and devise mechanisms that they might use to help these children. The first thing to consider is their health care needs. To begin with, this is a very critical stage as they are on the verge of childhood and adulthood. Therefore, they possess both childish health care needs and adults healthcare needs. It is brought out majorly basing on the fact that they are beginning a new level of tremendous growth. Secondly, they are experiencing rapid changes both physical and psychological changes. Lastly, these categories of people are experiencing social development that marks their transition from childhood to adulthood (O’Donnell et al. 2014). While promoting health literacy in adolescents, community nurses should be ready to face dual challenges.

Regarding their age and issue of dualism, community nurses should make sure that they talk in an intermediate language. They should be less formal so that the adolescents may not feel like they are being dictated. Also, the location in which the adolescents live can have a very significant impact on the health literacy. The drop in the clinic might be because they are not in a position of even filing medical forms. Urban areas characteristics are associated with influencing adolescents into drug abuse due to effects of social and mass media. Lifestyle is also another factor to be considered (Chinn et al. 2013). At this time, adolescents are struggling to attain new lifestyles.

Community nurses ought to teach them of good lifestyles and highly discourage on drug abuse. Most of the adolescents that drug is abusing too is a way of life caring less about the adverse impacts that are brought about by the use of these illicit hard drugs. Community nurses should make sure that they educate adolescents that social class should not be an effect on their social esteem. Many adolescents from low-class families engage in drug abuse so that they may feel high and equate themselves with their peers from top social categories of life. Many institutions teach less on effects of substance addiction among the adolescents. Community nurses should advocate the government so that studies on substance addiction that will target adolescents should receive education in schools and especially high schools. They should also organize various tours to visit these schools and offer them with in-depth knowledge of drug abuse (Aboumatar et al. 2013).


Studies have indicated that many adolescents perceive little knowledge on drug addiction despite the fact that it is the one that affects them the most. Literacy challenges limit the health providers when they are diagnosing and, therefore, can lead to inaccuracies. There is little-known facts about health literacy in health settings and health literacy in adolescents. Prevention is always the best option as compared to cure. Therefore, it is nice to intervene and prevent these children from a public health perspective (Wei et al. 2013). Health emphasis at an early age is emphasized since addressing substantial concerns at a young age helps individuals to get a clear picture of health information. By understanding health information, individuals can improve interactions with the healthcare systems. There will be fewer cases of diseases that come as a result of drug abuse which will help many sectors. Some of the sectors that will be advantaged will be economical since less cost will get incurred by patients suffering from diseases that are as a result of drug abuse such as liver cirrhosis. As discussed, the greatest reasons as to why adolescents engage in substance addiction are. As a result peer pressure. Peer pressure among the youth is as a result of ignorance among them. Therefore, health literacy is essential as it will help break this ignorance and provide them with available and efficient knowledge. The service of providing health literacy against drug abuse to the adolescents can best be done by community nurses with the aid of the community and teachers (Sørensen et al. 2012).


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