To determine the role of the community nurses, the ecological factors that foster the substance abuse problems in this age group were determined, again through the review of literature. The current approach can be based on preventive approach designed through knowledge about these factors, many of which individual, familial, and social may be effectively controlled through social modifications. Awareness about this problem would thus be most important.
From the community nursing point of view, due to the scope of exposure and interaction with the individuals within the community may help deliver care to those who are affected and prevent the risk factors that may prove to serve the purpose of achieving control on this problem.
Worldwide, the recent reports from mental health care and primary care facilities indicate the significant importance of community health and public health policies in care for substance abuse and mental health disorders. Despite government initiatives, it is unfortunate that research in this area is limited since there is a paucity of literature on substance abuse services or related mental health intervention approaches provided in the community care settings (Druss, et al. 2006). More pertinent may be the fact that with the changing scenarios of this problem, how the services can be adjusted or evolved over time. Therefore the question arises how the community practitioner delivers the care necessary for people with substance abuse with the dynamic care needs of these clients, or it is impossible to deliver care in the community, specially by the community nurses for this problem
The Problem and its Magnitude
In Hong Kong a survey conducted during the 2008-09 school year revealed increasing prevalence and problem of youth substance abuse. In comparison to the survey conducted 4 years earlier, this survey revealed an 1% point increase in prevalence of substance abuse among school students, which currently is 4.3% of the school students. It is more prevalent in the adolescent age groups, and the magnitude of the problem can be conceived from the epidemiologic data that among 12 year old school students, 4.6% declared that they had abused substances or drugs. When compared to the same data 4 years ago, which was 2.4%, there is a clear trend of lowering of the age of substance abuse. These data should be interpreted with caution since in many such cases, these surveys fail to reveal the actual prevalence due to fear of admitting abuse. Although these surveys can offer scientific data, it is important to understand the trend that may facilitate services that can combat youth drug problems, which has become very serious in Hong Kong. The "2008-09 Survey of Drug Use among Students" documents also reveals some very important information that are useful from the community nursing perspectives. This clearly states that the drivers of the decision to abuse substances among the youth reside in the community. The first is availability and the second is the hidden nature of the youth substance a