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Identify a health issue related to module content and discuss its impact on an individual/group from biological, social and psychological perspective. Discuss strategies to overcome the problem.

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Introduction

Identify a health issue related to module content and discuss its impact on an individual/group from biological, social and psychological perspective. Discuss strategies to overcome the problem. Alcohol is the most widely available and commonly used psychoactive substance among young people (Rassool & Winnington, 2003). A recent study showed that, in the United Kingdom, nearly 40% of adolescents had been drunk by the time they reached 15 years (Hibbell et al, 1999). Excessive alcohol consumption can result in adverse biological, psychological and social effects which can lead to antisocial behaviour. This essay will highlight these effects and examine methods used to prevent alcohol abuse by young people. The most common problems adolescents experience are due alcohol intoxication and binge drinking. Binge drinking is classified as having more than 5 drinks in a row and is a common drinking pattern in teenagers in the UK (Rassool and Winnington, 2003). The acute biological impacts of alcohol consumption are common to both adults and adolescents. However, these effects can be more dangerous for adolescents as they occur at lower concentrations than for adults (Institute of Alcohol Studies, 2003). Outward symptoms of alcohol use include impaired hearing, vision, slurred speech, poor motor co-ordination, vomiting, blackouts, hangovers and alcohol poisoning (Alcohol Concern, 2000a). ...read more.

Middle

However, the link between alcohol and antisocial behaviour is not straightforward. Not every teenager who drinks alcohol exhibits these antisocial characteristics. Some research has suggested that a person's underlying personality combined with environmental factors plays an important role in the expression of antisocial behaviour (Social Research Centre, no date). Situations that could trigger aggressive behaviour in teenagers could include, peer pressure and unfriendly behaviour from other people. For example, a benign gesture could be misinterpreted, by a person under the influence of alcohol, as being threatening or aggressive. Little evidence can be found to support the effectiveness of alcohol abuse prevention programmes targeted at young people (Foxcroft et al, 2003). In a briefing by the Health Development Agency, it is suggested that there is some evidence for the success of certain types of school based prevention programs (Waller et al, 2002). These relatively successful programmes were more complex than traditional education based programmes. They include methods such as peer led, rather than teacher led schemes and interactive programmes which focus on developing young peoples' interpersonal skills (Waller et al, 2002 & Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, 2003). However, there is more evidence to suggest the effectiveness of brief interventions. Brief interventions involve a few minutes of counselling and advice on the adverse affects of alcohol. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fact sheet: Young People and Alcohol [on-line] Cambridge: IAS. Available from: <http://www.ias.org.uk/factsheets/young-people.pdf> [Accessed on 2 December 2003] JERNIGAN, D.H. (2001) Global Status Report: Alcohol and Young People [on-line] Geneva: World Health Organisation. Available from: <http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/PDFfiles/globsta_alcoyoung%20people.pdf> [Accessed on: 22 November 03]. MACDONALD, L. (1999) Executive Summary: Overview of the Health Issues Related to Alcohol Consumption. In: MACDONALD, I. ed. (1999) Health Issues Related to Alcohol Consumption. 2nd Ed. London: Blackwell Science. Prime Minster's Strategy Unit (2003) Alcohol Harm Reduction Project: Interim Analytical Report [online] London: Prime Minster's Strategy Unit. Available from: <http://www.pm.gov.uk/files/pdf/SU%20interim_report2.pdf> [Accessed on: 19 November 03]. RASSOOL, G.H. & WINNINGTON, J. (2003) Adolescents and alcohol misuse. Nursing Standard 17, 30, 46-50. 9 April. RICHARDSON, A & BUDD, T (2003) Home Office Research Study 263: Alcohol, crime and disorder: a study of young adults [on-line] London: Communication Development Unit, Home Office. Available from: <http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/hors263.pdf> [Accessed on: 20 November 03]. WALLER, S. NAIDOO, B. & THOM, B. (2002) Prevention and reduction of alcohol misuse: Evidence Briefing [online] London: Health Development Agency. Available from: <http://194.83.94.67/uhtbin/cgisirsi.exe/1069514509/0/520/EBBD_Alcohol_pdf_ft> [Accessed on: 20 November 03]. WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (2001) Declaration on Young People and Alcohol [online] Denmark: World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe. Available from: <http://www.euro.who.int/AboutWHO/Policy/20030204_1> [Accessed on: 20 November 03]. SADLER, C. (2002) Sobering thoughts. Nursing Standard. 16, 50. 28 August. SOCIAL ISSUES RESEARCH CENTRE. (no date) Alcohol and Violence [online] Oxford: Social Issues Research Centre. Available from: <http://www.sirc.org/publik/alcohol_and_violence_5.html> [Accessed on: 20 November 03]. ...read more.

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