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Vulnerable Population and Healthcare - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: Vulnerable Population & Healthcare Vulnerable Population & Healthcare Vulnerable Population & Healthcare Vulnerability is a global phenomenon of susceptibility whereby individuals or communities are at greater risk of poor physical and social health than the average of the rest of the community…
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Vulnerable Population and Healthcare

Health care is therefore one of the most growing industries now. Institutes in the field have realized that the only way they can deliver effective services to those in needs is through first singling out the needy from the general sample and then personally taking the aid to them. This paper examines drug addicts as a vulnerable group and sees how the personal biases and attitudes of the healthcare professionals affect the delivery of the services. Drug addicts are one of the most vulnerable groups of individuals in dire need of help in all stages of their susceptibility (Chesnay, 2006). Many people view drug addiction as a lowly, self-harming habit with no hopes of recovery. However, nothing can be further from truth. Drug- addiction is more of an ailment, a chronic disease in which a patient keeps relapsing into the pursuit and in-take of harmful drugs that, to him, soothe his nerves and calm his body. It is true that the first doze is more of an outside-in process and depends on the will of the person completely, the subsequent changes in the physiology of brain makes it very difficult for the addict to quit and urges him to impulsively continue with the menace. However, treatments are now available to help these addicts recover from their addiction gradually and more successfully. As modern researches reveal, a good combination of medicinal and behavioral therapy can lead to a much better and quicker treatment of the problem. In addition, personalized treatments, which are, customized to the needs and attitudes of individual patients, make the recovery process quicker and less painful than it normally is. The demographics of drug addicts is rather interesting and at some instances, surprising. For instance, “in 2003, the rate of dependence on substance for youths between the ages of 12 and 17 years was 8.9% and that between the people of ages between 18 and 25 is 21% “(Wolf, 1998). In particular, “58.1% of the young drug addicts depend on illicit drugs while the ratio in adults is 37.2%. In 2003 only, males were twice as prone to substance-dependency as women” (Wheeler, 2006). However, in youths below 18 years of age, the substance abuse in both the genders was almost the same. Ethnically speaking, the dependency on substance is highest amongst “Native Americans and the Natives of Alaska, i.e. around 17.2%” (Wheeler, 2006). Second to this are “Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders with 12.9%. Asian Americans come last with 6.3%” (Wheeler, 2006). Contrary to popular belief, blacks have lower substance dependency rates than “Hispanics and whites, 8.1 percent as compared to 9.8 and 9.2 percent, respectively”. The dependency on drugs also differs in various age brackets. In 2003 only, there were “3.8% drug addicts in the range of 12-13 years, 10.9% drug addicts in the range of 14 to 15 years and 19.2% drug addicts” (Wheeler, 2006) in the range of 16 to 17 years of age. The illicit drug use also follow the same graph with ascending slope in the teens, peak at 20 years of age and then a gradual decline after that. Personally speaking, this research opened up some new dimensions of thinking. Earlier, drug addicts came around just as another marginalized group of people whom one should never be friends with. They usually confront stereotypes of being dangerous and unfriendly or homeless. Drug addiction is also paired with assault, ... Read More
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