Every community, area, or population group is unique. Its individual characteristics are based on such features as its geographical location, demographics, size, and socioeconomic status, to name a few. The community selected for this project in Miami Gardens. This is a suburban community situated in Miami City. Namely, the previous part of this project – a windshield survey – was carried out in a residential area of Miami Gardens. During the survey, it was noticed that the population of the selected area was rather diverse in terms of age, ethnic background, and socioeconomic status. A vulnerable population that was identified over the course of the survey included people affected by alcohol addiction. In this way, the purpose of this paper is to overview, assess, and discuss the vulnerable population group in order to identify the related community health problem typical for the selected area.
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Vulnerable Population Overview
As it was mentioned previously, the vulnerable population identified for this project community included people suffering from alcoholism. Alcohol intake rates in the state of Florida, where the community is located, are characterized as high. Binge drinking prevalence is rated as high as sixteen to eighteen percent (CDC, 2015). In the complete list of states in the US rated based on their alcohol consumption rates, Florida takes the thirteenth position (Tribou, 2014). Miami Gardens is one of the cities that have been battling the problem for a while and achieved the reduction of its prevalence. However, its significance is still high as a simple windshield survey showed that there is a noticeable percentage of people affected by alcohol, which can be seen in the streets. The survey showed that the representatives of this population looked like they were either from low-income groups or had no homes at all. As a result, it can be supposed that their alcoholism could have caused their poverty and homelessness.
Strengths, Risk Factors, and/or Barriers
Excessive consumption of alcohol is related to a multitude of negative health and social outcomes. First of all, alcoholism is often connected to crime and violence; it leads to negative social perception, unemployment, which can cause homelessness and poverty (CDC, 2018). Secondly, alcohol, as a substance, is extremely harmful. Its harm increases when it is consumed in high doses and on a regular basis. Some of the most common health outcomes of alcoholism are liver disease, high blood pressure, digestive problems, stroke, heart disease, and mental health problems such as depression and memory impairments (CDC, 2018). Additionally, alcohol can cause risky behaviors that, in turn, can lead to the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, injuries, car accidents, and alcohol poisoning. Finally, alcohol can have a negative effect on fetal health, causing various fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, as well as stillbirths and miscarriages (CDC, 2018). These are the risk factors that concern the selected vulnerable population.
One of the major barriers that could prevent the improvement of this situation is the population’s refusal to participate in anti-alcoholism programs, acknowledge the problem, or give up the habit. These obstacles are quite common when it comes to treating and addressing all kinds of addictions. It can be considered a strength that the entire country is working on the establishment of an alcohol consumption reduction program where every state has a goal of decreasing its drinking rates by a certain percent.
During the windshield survey, it was noticed that the selected community lacks specialized recovery and treatment centers that could help people suffering from alcoholism. More detailed research showed that there are only a few such organizations in this community. In particular, the gardens Wellness center is, probably, the largest and most well-known facility of the kind. Another such organization is Safe Landing Recovery and Miami Gardens Drug Treatment Centers. All of these facilities present diverse and effective programs for battling alcohol addiction based on a holistic approach to patients, and a client-centered philosophy (The Gardens Wellness Center, n.d.; Miami Gardens Drug Treatment, 2018; Safe Landing Recovery, 2017).
Community Health Problem Diagnosis
Alcohol addiction is the community health problem that affects the selected vulnerable population in Mimi Gardens. A community health nurse could positively impact this public health problem in a variety of ways. Some such ways include referrals to the appropriate professionals and organizations, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and wise diet choices, as well as the delivery of education of harmful impacts of alcohol on human health. In Healthy People 2020, the problem of alcoholism is reflected in the section entitled “Substance Abuse.” This problem is noted for its relevance to the abuse of other substances and the connection to a wide range of other negative health outcomes (Healthy People, 2018).The objective of the initiative is to reduce alcohol consumption for the purpose of improving the quality of life of the American population.
The vulnerable population that was identified during the windshield survey included people suffering from alcohol abuse. Even though the community was known for attempts to address this problem, people under the effect of alcohol were seen in the streets of Miami Gardens. The community lacks recovery and treatment centers that could help battle this addition. Moreover, most representatives of the vulnerable population could be characterized as homeless or with a very low level of income. Consequently, it would not be possible for them to afford to go through expensive treatments and programs.
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CDC. (2015). Data and maps. Web.
CDC. (2018). Fact sheets – alcohol use and your health. Web.
Healthy People. (2018). Substance abuse. Web.
The Gardens Wellness Center. (n.d). Our program. Web.
Miami Gardens Drug Treatment. (2018). Alcoholism and treatment in Miami Gardens, FL. Web.
Safe Landing Recovery. (2017). Our services. Web.
Tribou, R. (2014). Where does Florida rank among America’s drunkest states? Web.