Objective: To create a health promotion program for a priority population (audience). Refer to “Creating a Health Promotion Program” in your etext, Chapter 5. First determine your priority population and a health promotion plan you are creating and submit your topic to me for approval through the assignment post by 2.3.18 . Once your topic is approved, create a proposal for a health promotion program.
The proposal must be between 5 to 10 pages, excluding any graphics, and requires the following information:
Identify the population and health topic
Assess the needs of the priority population
Set the goals and objectives for the program
How will the goals and objectives be achieved
Implement the intervention
Describe how will you implement the interventions
Population and Health Issue
Teen smoking has become a serious health issue in the US and other parts of the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2017), about 90 percent of cigarette smokers begun experimenting in their teens. Further, about 99 percent of smokers started the habit before they were 26 years. These statistics indicate that teen smoking can be a predictor of future adult smoking rates. The statistics also indicate that among all age cohorts, adolescents face the greatest risk of acquiring smoking habits. By focusing on adolescent behaviors that lead to smoking, it might be possible to reduce significantly the future smoking rates among the general population. This would lead to a decline in diseases attributed to smoking such as lung cancer, oral cancer, bronchitis, tooth loss, and among others. This paper is an evaluation of a health promotion plan that can help in reducing smoking among adolescents.
Needs of the Priority Population
Various social and psychological needs increase the likelihood of smoking in adolescents. Khurshid & Ansari (2012) conducted a study to determine the factors that contribute to smoking among adolescents. The findings indicated that a multiplicity of factors contribute to smoking among adolescents. The psychological factors rank the highest contributors to smoking. These factors include anger issues, stress, frustrations, fear, domestic issues, and among others. Majority of adolescents admitted to developing smoking habits in order to deal with such psychological problems (Khurshid & Ansari, 2012). The second most important factor is the social factors. This is mainly the need for acceptance amongst one’s peers or friends. Another major factor contributing to smoking is personality. Adolescents have high degree of consciousness about their style. They may begin smoking to fit a particular personality.
Another factor contributing to smoking among adolescents is the taste and feeling attributed with smoking (Khurshid & Ansari, 2012). Smoking gives some adolescents a unique feeling or taste. This creates the urge to engage in the behavior on a habitual basis. Adolescents have many needs which if unfulfilled may lead to drug and substance abuse. Due to stress and peer influence, adolescents are also likely to engage in smoking. Adolescents have poor coping mechanisms for stress and thus likely to engage in drug and substance abuse. There is also the drive for experimentation, which increases the likelihood of engaging in drug and substance abuse.
Goals and Objectives for the Program
The health promotion program has several goals and objectives. The goals and objectives outline what the health promotion program ought to achieve with regard to smoking in adolescents. The following are the goals and objectives of the program.
- To reduce the percentage of adolescents and especially students who report smoking within a year.
- To increase awareness among adolescents of the health consequences associated with tobacco smoking.
- To promote the establishment of new policies and programs meant to curb smoking in schools.
- To reduce the ease of access of tobacco products around schools.
- To reduce tobacco advertisements and promotions that seeks to target the young.
- To reduce the number of teens in schools who report smoking by 30 percent.
- To influence the increase of the price of tobacco products by 10 percent.
- Reduce the number of adolescents who report exposure to secondhand smoke in public places by 50 percent.
- To provide treatment to all teens who report tobacco dependence.
Achieving the Goals and Objectives
Providing information to teens about the harmful effects of cigarette smoking will significantly help in reducing incidences of teen smoking. Providing information can encourage those who have acquired the habit to quit and discourage others from starting smoking. It is possible to achieve this by developing educational programs for youths in schools. Community programs can also help in delivering information about drug abuse to the youths. Community programs that combine sporting events can be used as opportunities to provide information to the youths about drug abuse. Such efforts can help in reducing the number of teens turning to smoking and other forms of substance abuse.
Lobbying for tax increments in tobacco products can help in reducing tobacco consumption among youths. According to Bader, Boisclair, and Ferrence (2011), increasing taxes on tobacco products, which in turn lead to high prices of cigarettes, may significantly encourage smokers to contemplate quitting smokers and discourage others from acquiring the habit. Raising taxes on tobacco products may thus help to reduce tobacco smoking among the youth. There is need for strict tobacco use regulations to prevent exposure to secondhand smoke. Currently, some states have not enacted any regulations guiding smoking in public places while others have banned smoking in restaurants, bars, and other public places.
There is need to lobby for strict regulations to control the sale and advertising of tobacco products. Teens especially those above the 18 years age bracket are a prime target for tobacco industry advertising campaigns. There is need to implement strict regulations on tobacco advertising in various mediums. Currently, cigarette manufacturers can still advertise their products in grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other point-of-sale locations. Such advertisements especially where they are near schools may influence teens into experimenting with the products. There is need to develop strict controls of all forms of cigarette advertising especially targeting the youths. Further, there is need to curb the selling of cigarettes near institutions. Restricting access will reduce the use of cigarettes among the youths.
Implementing the Intervention
The health promotion program targeting teens will significantly help in reducing the number of teens who acquire smoking habits. The first phase of the intervention will directly aim at influencing teens in institutions to quit smoking or to discourage them from acquiring the habit. This will be done through peer education. Peer education is the sharing of important information among peers. Peer educators will engage in informal talks with other students with the aim of informing them about the dangers of smoking. Peer educators will also inform addicts about possible health centers where they may obtain professional help to quit smoking. Peer educators will engage in informal talks meant to dissuade students from smoking and to adopt behaviors that do not increase the risk of tobacco smoking. For instance, engaging in sports can help reduce the chances of smoking by keeping one engaged all the time.
Implementing the intervention will require careful selection and training of peer educators. The first step will be to identify the potential peer educators, preferably students who are highly influential among their peers. After selection of peer educators, they will undergo a one week training and development program so that they may better understand what they are supposed to do. Successful peer educators will engage in informal talks with other students during free time and after school closes. Peer educators will attempt to change student norms regarding smoking. For those who are already addicted to smoking, the peer educators will attempt to persuade them to seek professional counselling services to quit smoking.
Evaluating the Results
It is important to evaluate the results of the health promotion program. It will be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the program by looking at the acceptance of the program among students. If there is a positive reception of the program, the chances of the program success will be higher. The results will also be evaluated based on the percentage reduction in chances of a student becoming a habitual smoker in the year that the intervention became effective. A reduction in the percentage of students who report smoking will be an indicator of the effectiveness of the health promotion program.
Another way of evaluating the results is by assessing the general awareness of the health consequences of smoking among the student population. A key goal of the program is to inform the youths about the consequences of tobacco smoking. By providing information, students will be empowered to adopt behaviors that do not lead to smoking. Large body of students who possess knowledge about the consequences of tobacco smoking will be indicative of the program success. Generally, peer education will aim at changing student behavior and norms concerning cigarette smoking. This will help in reducing the tendency of students to engage in cigarette smoking.
Bader, P., Boisclair, D., & Ferrence, R. (2011). Effects of Tobacco Taxation and Pricing on Smoking Behavior in High Risk Populations: A Knowledge Synthesis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8(11), 4118–4139. http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8114118
Khurshid, F., & Ansari, U. (2012). Causes of smoking habit among the teenagers. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(9): 848 – 854.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2017). Youth and tobacco use. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/youth_data/tobacco_use/index.htm
Watch and write a 2-3 page summary on Greg Boyd’s sermon on “What is Truth?”, along with your thoughts.
What is Truth
Boyd (2018) discusses the nature of truth, noting that individuals are living in an era characterized by a crisis of truth. Crisis of truth refers to difficulties among individuals in discerning what is true or not. In the contemporary world, people are bombarded with information from various sources such as media outlets, social media, the church, friends, and other sources. It is increasingly difficult to tell which of these sources stands for the truth. In addition, individuals are at a loss on where they can obtain true information. Previously reputable sources of information such as the church and media outlets are no longer the sources of truth. Instead, people view information coming from such outlets with skepticism.
Boyd (2018) examines how the historical account of the crisis of truth. During the late Renaissance period (1500s and 1600s), there was a state of perpetual warfare lasting about three decades and resulting from religious intolerance. The political elites resolved to end the religious warfare by coming up with a series of treaties, the notable one being the Peace of Westphalia treaty. This treaty barred people from engaging in any form of religious intolerance and instilled in people the need to respect each other’s differences. This created a pluralistic society where individuals held different beliefs. Prior to the signing of the treaty, individuals in a particular society held similar beliefs. As such, they could not tolerate anyone who had a contrasting opinion.
The emergence of a pluralistic society induces tolerance to contrasting opinions from other people. In addition, it sensitizes individuals of their culture’s influence to their beliefs. In a global society, it becomes difficult to have absolute truths because of the influence of culture. As such, individuals can only talk about their personal truths. This brings about the concept of truth relativism. This concept holds that absolute truths do not exist; truth is always subject to some particular external influence such as culture and language. In other words, truth will vary depending on the place and period. Since there is no absolute truth, individuals can have their own truths that contrast with other people’s version of truth without having any problems (Boyd, 2018).
Boyd (2018) highlights five key elements surrounding truth relativism. The first element is that religious beliefs pose great danger to the society. The second element is that truth relativism is self-contradictory. This is because if there is no absolute truth, it is not easy to tell whether the statement itself may be a lie. Thirdly, truth is narrow. The singularity occurs because there is only a single version of truth. Fourthly, there exists some shared reality among individuals concerning the truth. The shared reality comprises of the moral code. Lastly, it is only Jesus who said absolute truths.
In summary, the truth is relative in nature. What holds as the truth for one individuals may not apply as the truth for all individuals. Those who hold absolute truths have a narrow-minded frame of thinking. For instance, those who believe that their religion is the only true religion may end up committing various atrocities among those who do not subscribe to their belief of the truth. Terrorists commit inhuman acts against those who do not subscribe to their views for they hold absolute truths concerning their religion. What holds as the truth for one person will depend on the culture, language, and other influencing factors. As such, people are likely to interpret information from media outlets, social media, and other sources using the relativistic concept of truth.
Boyd, G. (2018). What is truth? Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lroxsCoY70#action=share
Identify (using the Internet) an organization in your community or a community of your choice that you believe provides mental health services. List and describe the type of services offered. After this please explain in a short paragraph what you feel to be the status of mental health care in this particular community.
Mental Health Organization in Brick
There are organizations that provide mental health services in my area, Brick, New Jersey. One of the organizations is Brookhaven Retreat. This is a private organization providing mental health services to women around the community and from other places as well. Brookhaven Retreat offers a number of mental health services (Brookhaven Retreat, 2018). The following is an overview of the mental health services women may receive from this organization.
Treatment for Mood Disorders
Brookhaven Retreat provides treatment to patients suffering from various mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder (Brookhaven Retreat, 2018). The health organization provides full medical diagnosis to patients and support for those diagnosed with mood disorders. The health organization also treats women by encouraging self-exploration. This can help in identifying the root cause of the mood disorders.
Related: The Japanese Internment
The health organization provides treatment to patients with various levels of trauma. Trauma services focus on patients who have gone through traumatic experiences such as rape, physical injuries, shocking events, and among others.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment
Brookhaven Retreat provides treatment to patients having addiction problems. The health organization provides addicts with a 30-day detoxification program aimed at treating their addiction to alcohol and substance abuse (Brookhaven Retreat, 2018). The community organization has qualified RNs who assist patients in their road to recovery from alcohol and substance abuse.
The status of mental health care in Brick, New Jersey, is high. A high status indicates that individuals have high access rates to mental health care in the community. This is because there are other health organizations in the community providing mental health services such as the Behavioral Health Centers of America. High number of mental health service providers in the area translates to improved mental health care.
Brookhaven Retreat. (2018). Why Brookhaven Retreat. Retrieved from https://www.brookhavenretreat.com/cms/why-brookhaven
Case Study: Sycamore Pharmaceuticals
John Blake should cooperate with the FDA representative and reveal the true information. Blake should cooperate because first, it is against his ethical values to provide inaccurate information about the company’s drugs to the customers. Another reason why he should cooperate with the FDA agent is that this is a legal requirement. The law requires that employees may share confidential information about their employer if there is a legal justification for sharing such information (Cho & Song, 2015). According to Heumann, Friedes, Cassak, Wright, and Joshi (2013), whistleblowing often highlights the management’s ineffectiveness or failures. Blake would thus be exposing the CEO’s failures. Lastly, the CEO had made it clear that employees should delay providing damaging reports “as long as legally possible.” Under the current circumstances, it was not legally possible to hide the truth.
John Blake should realize that there are both positive and negative consequences. If Blake fails to be honest with the FDA representative, the company will continue promoting ineffective drugs to innocent patients. This will increase the feelings of guilt as the actions of the company are against his ethical values. In addition, innocent people may die or suffer debilitating consequences due to the use of ineffective drugs to treat their conditions. If Blake cooperates with the FDA representative, he may face retaliatory action from the management. For instance, he may lose his job or face discrimination. In addition, the company may experience significant financial challenges in the future as customers avoid its products.
It would actually take lots of courage for Blake to reveal the timing and content of scientific studies. It would take courage because most whistleblowers face retaliatory action from the employers once they reveal the illegitimate activities of the organization. The organizational leadership may retaliate by taking various actions such as demoting, firing, disciplining, denying opportunities for promotion, threats and intimidation, and through other actions. Blake may lean on various sources of courage to help him through. Daft (2015) provides four ways of gaining courage. The first source of courage is to make a step-by-step approach to the situation at hand. Finding courage involves making systematic decisions developed through conscious efforts.
Another source of courage is anger and frustration. Blake may call upon his frustrations and anger caused by the actions by the company to overcome his fears (Daft, 2015). Anger can drive emotions that provide people with energy to take a certain course that would not be possible under normal circumstances. Blake can also find courage by believing in a higher purpose (Daft, 2015). Purpose is about what makes an individual distinctive. Purpose is what drives one to achieve daily goals. Purpose defines how an individual performs his/her job. Blake should believe that he stands for ethical leadership in the organization. In this way, he will have the courage to tell the truth. Lastly, Blake can gain courage by connecting with other employees of similar opinion as his. This would give them courage to report the truth.
Dominguez and Blake went along with the deception in the first place because they refused to stand for what is right and challenge the leadership decisions. Both were too complacent with the decisions that the leadership made. Had they questioned such decisions, the situation would be different. Another reason why they went along with the deception is fear brought about by intimidation from the management. This is evident in the email from the CEO to Dominguez warning that they should refrain from reporting anything negative about the company’s products. Another reason why they participated is ignorance of the legal consequences of such decisions. I would not have participated in suppressing the negative studies. This is because there are legal consequences and in such cases, the truth must come out someday. Moreover, it is unethical to participate in such action.
Cho, Y. J., & Song, H. J. (2015). Determinants of whistleblowing within government agencies. Public Personnel Management, 44(4), 450-472. doi:10.1177/0091026015603206
Daft, R. L., & Lane, P. G. (2015). The leadership experience. Australia: Cengage Learning.
Heumann, M., Friedes, A., Cassak, L., Wright, W., & Joshi, E. (2013). The world of whistleblowing. Public Integrity, 16(1), 25-52. doi:10.2753/PIN1099-9922160102
During the 1950s, Area 51 was a secretive government site, perceived as a representation of Cold War era tension in the USA. Do you think the creation of secretive sites, such as Area 51, were justified? Why or why not? If you were in charge of the CIA during the Cold War period, what methods would you use to ensure domestic security
Secretive Government Site
The creation of secretive sites such as Area 51 during the 1950s was justified. The 1950s represents the period when the U.S. had just emerged from the Second World War (Holpuch, 2013). Further, this period saw the emergence of the Cold War. The Cold War was marked by rising political tension between countries in the Western Bloc (U.S. and its allies) and those in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies). With the emerging threat of new weapons of mass destruction, there was a strong need for the U.S. to take active measures to enhance the security of the nation plus allied states. Secretive sites such as Area 51 provided the U.S. an opportunity to fortify its defense systems especially with regard to the then growing threats of possible air attacks by enemy states (Holpuch, 2013). Area 51 sites enabled the government to run crucial security tests for the security of the nation. Without these tests, there was no way of knowing how to mitigate or avert possible future attacks from enemy states.
As the head of the CIA during the Cold War period, it would be critical to strengthen domestic security. One possible method of strengthening the domestic security would be improving military intelligence. This would involve conducting surveillance in enemy states and spying. Surveillance would help in gathering critical data concerning the enemy states, for instance, the military technology in use in such countries. Spying would help in revealing government secrets such as planned military strikes or espionage missions. This would keep the government informed about the threat of incursion by foreign states. Lastly, it would be critical to improve border security. This would help in reducing the porousness of the nation’s borders.
Holpuch, A. (2013, Tue. 9). Area 51 hosted tests for ‘secretly acquired’ Soviet fighter jets. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/29/declassified- area-51-soviet-aircraft-cold-war
The Japanese Internment took place during the early 1940s in the USA, a period of extreme suspicion toward Japanese Americans. Do you think the Japanese Internment can be justified given the circumstances of this particular period? Why or why not? How would you have approached national security concerns on the western coast of the USA during this period?
The Japanese Internment
America is one of the few countries in the world today that has a rich history compared to other countries. However, it is worth noting that not all of this history that has positively reflected on America. One of these black years in American history occurred in the early 1940s and is widely regarded as the Japanese-American internment. According to history, during this period, Japanese-Americans were forced to relocate by the US government to detention camps. This relocation is substantially attributed to the federal government’s long history of racism and discrimination against Asian immigrants. According to history, this relocation was unconstitutional and unjustified as the government felt that Japanese-Americans might act as saboteurs after the pearl harbor by the Japanese government (Hayashi, 2010). History shows that this detention was unjustified considering that these were innocent Americans who had nothing to do with the war and were loyal to the American government. History shows that the power struggle between the U.S department of justice and department of war only made things worse for these innocent citizens.
Related: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
Given the opportunity, I would have approached national security concerns differently to ensure that these Japanese-Americans remain loyal to the government and avoid a revolt. Rather than mistreating these innocent people, I would have rather pulled them closer home to ensure that the country could count on their loyalty during the war and long after the war. Giving them protection and ensuring that they go on with their lives normally would not the only have improved their loyalty, but would have rather motivate them to join the American army as they felt that America was their home (Houston & Houston, 2012). Therefore, detaining them and mistreating them only made things worse than intended and the only way was to treat them equally as the rest of Americans.
Hayashi, B. M. (2010). Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Houston, J. W., & Houston, J. D. (2012). Farewell to Manzanar: A true story of Japanese American experience during and after the World War II internment. New York: Ember.
For the Week 3 Written Assignment, describe how and why Prohibition became policy in the USA. Why did the Valentines Day Massacre occur? Is it ever appropriate to outlaw substances for consumption? Please make sure that your response is at least 1 page in length, double spaced
According to the American history, confirmation of the 18th amendment of the country’s constitution prohibited the manufacture, transportation and the sale of intoxicating substances thus leading to a period that is widely known as prohibition in the United States. However, it is worth noting that it was and is still difficult for the country to enforce this law and regulation irrespective of the passage of the companion legislation of the Volstead act. Research shows that prohibition in the country was a way designed to minimize if not taking out the drinking of intoxicating substances by eliminating the business that produced, distributed and sold alcoholic drinking (Hall, 2010). The 18th amendment to the country’s constitution banned brewers, distillers, vintners and the wholesale as well as retail of alcoholic beverages.
According to history, gang warfare ruled the streets of Chicago in the late 1920s. Research shows that the chief gangster by then Al Capone consolidated the control of these streets by taking out his rivals in the illegal businesses of bootlegging, gambling and constitution. Al Capone’s desire to remain as the chief gangster in Chicago led to what is widely known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. On this day, seven men were killed in a garage on the north of Chicago (Smith, n.d). It is widely believed that Al Capone ordered the hits on these men while he was conveniently away in Chicago.
Related: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
Given the negative effects of substance abuse in a country, it is appropriate for the host country to control if not eliminates substance use. Through strong and legislation and policy making, the country can be in control of the intoxicated substances produced in the country. Notably, substance use has negative effects on the population of the country.
Hall, W. (2010). What are the policy lessons of National Alcohol Prohibition in the United States, 1920-1933? Addiction, 105(7), 1164-1173. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.02926.x
Smith, T. J. (n.d.). St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Encyclopedia of Murder and Violent Crime. doi:10.4135/9781412950619.n429
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire was a tragic event taking place in the USA during the early 20th century. If you were the factory supervisor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company during this time, how would you have improved conditions in your facility in order to avoid this type of event? Please describe, in detail, your plan for creating a safe work environment. Search for information in Google regarding modern day manufacturing facilities in locations such as China or Singapore. Should international labor standards be established to address workplace issues in these countries? What would be the pros and cons of such legislation? Please make sure that your response is at least 1 page in length, double spaced.
Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire occurred on March 25, 1911, killing 145 workers who were working at the company. Investigations to this strategy show that most, if not all these deaths were preventable as most of the victims died as a result of neglected safety measures. As a result, it is necessary for companies to ensure that they meet the already set international safety standards. To improve the safety in the workplace, companies need to ensure that maintain the premises by getting their buildings and working environment checked regularly to ensure all the machines are working and eliminating the possibility of new hazards (Vicente, 2009). Additionally, these companies should perform regular emergency drills. Emergency drills that incorporate and integrate all members of the workforce help all the employees to familiarize themselves with the locations of emergency exists and the emergency exiting procedure. Notably, any building should have multiple labeled emergency exists.
To improve the safety of all employees working in China or Singapore companies and organizations in these regions should integrate and incorporate the international labor standards. These standards refer to the basic rights of workers than enhance their job security and improve their terms of employment. The primary objectives of these standards are to establish a minimum level of protection for employees. Some of the advantages of adopting these standards include protecting both the employees and employers in times of economic crisis, improving the economic performance of individual employees and the organization in general. Additionally, these standards are also known to create a level playing field where both employers and employees and negotiate and compromise on important business issues (Winters, n.d). On the other hand, some of the cons of this adoption include the fact that more than often, these standards are seen as demanding substantial costs, thus hindering economic development in the short term. Additionally, these standards lack enforcement powers and powers. Thus, compliance depends on individual organizations and companies.
Vicente, K. J. (2009). Cognitive work analysis: Toward safe, productive, and healthy computer-based work. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Winters, L. A. (n.d.). Commentary: Trade and Labor Standards: To Link or Not to Link? International Labor Standards, 309-313. doi:10.1002/9780470754818.ch4a
Visit your local health department either in person or via their website and find out how it is structured. In addition, please describe how the department in addressing a local health issue.
Document your findings as a 250 word essay that includes the following information:
What is the structure of the department, organizational chart
List the activities and services of the department
Give details of one of their programs
Discuss any resources the department has for the community
Local healthcare department
The organizational structure of any hospital or a department in a hospital refers to the different levels of management in that facility. Notably, large hospitals and departments have a complex structure. The emergency department of the SLMC has a five-level organizational structure that focuses on ensuring that they provide efficient and effective as well as quality services to their patients (In Cole, 2009).
With the increase in the number of people visiting the emergency department of various healthcare facilities, the emergency department is increasingly becoming an important part of a healthcare facility. The primary activities in this department focus on treating critically ill patients and preventing cardiac arrests in patients that have psychological instability. Additionally, medical practitioners in this department have to ensure that they examine every patient arriving at the hospital to identify their medical need before treating or admitting them.
Related: WRITE MY NURSING COURSEWORK
The emergency department of the hospital plays an important role in ensuring that all the patients arriving at the facility receiving treatment within the first ten minutes of their arrival. The program of the department is not only focused on attending to the needs of the patients but also at creating a positive environment and atmosphere for learning (Patel & Vinson, 2014). All emergency attendants have to undertake morning training between five to six in the morning before embarking on their daily chores. Notably, they work on shift with each shift working for four hours.
With the recent inventions and innovations in the medical field, it is easier for the department to treat and assess the medical needs of their clients. Therefore, the department has the recent technology and qualified personnel to offer medication and treatment to the community (Patel & Vinson, 2014).
In Cole, E. (2009). Trauma care: Initial assessment and management in the emergency department. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Pub.
Patel, P. B., & Vinson, D. R. (2014). Regarding: Effects of Emergency Department Expansion on Emergency Department Patient Flow. Academic Emergency Medicine, 21(11), 1300-1300. doi:10.1111/acem.12499
In 2000, George Bierson’s “Marijuana, the Deceptive Drug”, was published by
the Massachusetts News. Bierson concludes that marijuana is harmful in many ways,
including brain damage, damage to the reproductive system, and weakening of the
immune system. He also attempts to convince the reader that marijuana is a “gateway
drug” that leads the users to venture into much harder drugs. I believe that research to
support anything can be found if one is looking hard enough, but that the fallacy of
Bierson’s conclusion is due to his research seeking facts to support an already-assumed
conclusion. Based on my research and my own personal experience, I have found that
several of his points, when looked at logically, do not reach his conclusion.
One of Bierson’s strongest supporting claims is of the physical harms of
marijuana. He argues that Heath’s tests of the monkey’s brain seemed to show conclusive
evidence of brain damage; however, he fails to mention that the tests were later
discredited: the monkeys were given extremely high doses, doses exponentially higher
than that of the average recreational or medical marijuana user, and the test’s sample size
was too small.
More current studies of people who are heavy marijuana smokers show
no evidence of brain damage; in addition, the American Medical Association has
officially endorsed the decriminalization of marijuana. I find this to be quite a bit more
compelling than an outdated and poorly executed test. His claims of damage to both the Streeter 2
reproductive system and the immune system are again based on invalid experiments of
nearly lethal doses administered to mice and other animals, not humans. Moreover,
several studies of the effects of marijuana on the human reproductive and immune
systems have failed to demonstrate adverse effects.
One of the longest standing arguments against the use of marijuana is that it gives
users a “gateway” to harder or more illicit drug use. Bierson states in his article that
“Marijuana is the seed from which the scourge of drug abuse grows. If we stop the
marijuana, we will stop the rest of drug abuse”. I have several issues with this statement:
first, the simple fact that many heroin and cocaine users used marijuana first does not
conclude that the latter is the result of the first. Correlation is not causality. Bierson’s
vehement argument against marijuana alone become suspect, as most of these heroin and
cocaine abusers had also previously used alcohol and tobacco. According to government
surveys, a conservative estimate of 80 million American have tried marijuana in their life,
and 20 million admit to using it recently; if marijuana were truly a gateway drug, we
would see a higher percentage of regular users. Instead we are seeing an even smaller
percentage of abusers of cocaine or heroin. In fact, most people who use marijuana most
often quit on their own before the age of 34. If anybody is still compelled to buy into the
“gateway” theory, a real-life example is available for all to see: In Holland, marijuana has
been partially decriminalized since the 1970’s. Reports show that the use of cocaine and
heroin has significantly decreased, thus contradicting the hypothesis of marijuana as a
gateway drug. Instead, these statistics appear to point to the conclusion that marijuana is
more likely a substitute for harder drugs rather than a launching pad. Streeter 3
While I do feel that Bierson has failed to present conclusive evidence of the
harmfulness of marijuana through the points made, it is not a proper statement to claim
that marijuana is “harmless” either. Even though the properties of marijuana have shown
not to be physically addictive, one can become psychologically addicted.
However, this is true of just about anything that can give one pleasure, such as chocolate, gambling, or
shopping. No substance will be safe for everybody, under all circumstances, or when
used in excessive amounts. For example, over-the-counter medications can be deadly for
those who are allergic or who overdose. On the other hand, marijuana overdose has never
been a sole reported cause of death: the amount of cannabinoids required to have a lethal
effect are more than 40,000 times the necessary dosage for intoxication, making it highly
unlikely that a person would be able to or could be able to achieve such a concentrated
amount in their bloodstream. This is a severe contrast to alcohol, where one can very
easily bring about one’s demise, and at only a mere four times the legal limit.
Marijuana continues to be a relevant controversial issue in society today, as many
states included decriminalization and legalization proposals on their ballots. It can be
very difficult to know which side to support, partially due to the media propaganda, some
of which even contradicts itself in its fervor. This is likely the result of many wealthy
and influential organizations that have a financial interest in this issue, from the
pharmaceutical companies who stand to lose profits from legalization, the governments
who stands to gain from taxation, or the “dealers” who will be put out of business with
the elimination of the black market. It seems that those with a vested interest in the
legalization or continued criminalization of marijuana will pull whatever strings
necessary to sway public opinion to their side. This may include creating, supporting, or Streeter 4
merely citing biased or invalid research to support the desired conclusion, just as Bierson
has done in his article.