Substance abuse is a widespread issue that has profound consequences on individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole. The impact of substance abuse can be seen at both the national and local levels, affecting various stakeholders such as individuals, families, healthcare workers, healthcare organizations, rehabilitation centers, therapists, drug companies, physicians, and pharmacists. To address this problem, it is crucial to implement prevention strategies at both the national and local levels and prioritize substance use prevention measures and programs to promote health and reduce social harm (Renstrom, 2017).
Substance abuse has far-reaching effects, contributing to costly social, physical, mental, and public health problems. These problems encompass a wide range of issues, including teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, motor vehicle accidents, domestic violence, child abuse, and physical violence (HealthyPeople 2020). The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that substance abuse costs the nation more than $740 billion annually in expenses related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
In the field of healthcare, the use of information technology to provide evidence-based practice (EBP) is imperative in improving the quality of care, maximizing patient safety, and achieving cost savings (Chamberlain University, 2021). As the demand for established clinical evidence and practice guidelines increases, healthcare organizations and providers, including DNP practice scholars, must utilize information technology to ensure reliable evidence is translated into practice (Chamberlain University, 2021).
Telehealth communications have been recognized as a valuable tool in improving nurse-patient interactions and healthcare outcomes. For instance, telehealth applications based on King’s Goal Attainment Theory have shown promising results in pregnant women with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) (Abebe, Goldsby, & Renbarger, 2020). By leveraging telehealth technologies, pregnant women with OUD can receive the necessary support and care remotely, addressing the unique challenges they face.
In conclusion, substance abuse has wide-ranging consequences that affect individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole. It is crucial to implement prevention strategies at both the national and local levels and prioritize substance use prevention measures and programs to promote health and reduce social harm. Information technology plays a crucial role in facilitating evidence-based practice and improving healthcare outcomes. Telehealth communications, in particular, have shown promise in improving nurse-patient interactions and addressing the needs of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women with OUD. By utilizing information technology and evidence-based approaches, we can strive to mitigate the impact of substance abuse and improve the overall well-being of individuals and communities.
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