The harmful use of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year. According to WHO, 320,000 young people between the age of 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes, resulting in 9% of all deaths in that age group. ICN is concerned about the growing number of youths who abuse alcohol and other drugs. Nurses, as key providers of health care for young people, have a crucial role in addressing substance abuse in this age group.
Prevention and reduction of substance abuse through policy and advocacy, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and equipping youth with life skills to deal with stress, peer pressure, and other risk factors is an important role for ICN and nursing. The harmful use of alcohol is one of the risk factors leading to the growing burden of chronic diseases. WHO has developed innovative portals on alcohol and health with a web-based self-help intervention tool in four pilot countries, Belarus, Brazil, India and Mexico. The portals provide information not only for policymakers and professionals, but also for the public at large. They include a self-screening tool for hazardous and harmful use of alcohol and a fully computerized self-help programme for people who wish to reduce or stop drinking alcohol.
Other useful resources for nurses include;
- ICN position statement on Elimination of Substance Abuse in Young People
- ICN fact sheet on The Harmful Use of Alcohol
- ICN IND Toolkit on Delivering quality, serving communities: Nurses leading chronic care
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