Ameliorating the Threat to at Risk Populations Dissertation

Pages: 10 (2963 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

¶ … ameliorating the threat to at risk populations is a leading motivation for scientific investigation. The possibility that social and cultural tensions are responsible, even in part, for the incidence of alcohol and substance abuse in a particular group of individuals, more so than is experienced by counterparts in other countries of comparative social and economic standing, is cause for investigation into the reason for a groups' significantly higher instance of substance dependence and abuse. In the Republic of Armenia, there are several factors which facilitate, even encourage the use of illicit substances and the misuse of substances such as alcohol. Namely among those factors is the relative unavailability of clinical analgesics and inaccessibility of affordable reliable health care (Hinote,, Cockerham, & Abbott, 2009). Additionally, many areas of Armenia are extremely difficult to access which not only allows for a flourishing criminal industry but further insulates residents of those areas from the protections of organized government as well as what little access there is to health care.

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Since the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., former member states have faced extreme economic hardship. The incidence of organized crime involving the trafficking of narcotics and even people out of the country has risen exponentially. Natural disasters such as the devastating earth quake which wrought havoc on the country in 1988 have presented a perfect host country to criminal organizations. Though the use of intravenous drugs within the country is relatively low given the prominence of the production and smuggling industries, the transmission of diseases such as HIV / AIDS as a result of the sex industry has risen exponentially since 1998 (Drug Law & Health Policy Resource Network, 2001).

Dissertation on Ameliorating the Threat to at Risk Populations Assignment

In a country steeped in centuries of cultural heritage which has remained reasonably intact despite the relative transience of governments and continuously changing economic climate, gaining access to genuine reliable information regarding the nature and causes of addiction within the population is dependent upon a firsthand understanding of the cultural conventions which govern Armenians. As with other reasonably culturally insulated countries, the willingness of the population to cooperate with a study decreases exponentially with the degree to which the researcher is removed from the culture itself. Also, the contextual usefulness of even intact and accurate information is diminished by a lack of understanding of the role of such information within the greater workings of the specific society. It is essential then, to acquire first hand experiential reports of the objectionable behavior and all of the societal correlates and contexts which ultimately lead to its presentation.

The identification of specific factors which increase the risk of a group of individuals to a potentially life threatening and socially maladaptive habit is essential in the development of intervention and prevention programs. Systemic addiction to either narcotics or alcohols is an extremely negative social phenomenon which results in increased incidences of co-morbid psychological disorders and numerous long-term health problems for offspring born to parents with such health concerns.

The women of Armenia are perhaps subject more acutely to the particular economic, health, and criminal threats of their country. Women are effectively a commodity which can be bought and sold. Also in what is an already economically distressed country where work place sexism is still rampant, the employment opportunities for women are extremely limited and often result in the exposure to and eventual reliance on substance abuse (U.S. Department of State, 2006). Aiding this particular population which may be not only at increased risk but in less position to receive assistance is of significance not only to the researcher but should be also significant to the scientific community at large.

Literature Review:

Hinote, B., Cockerham, W., Abbott, P. (2009). The specter of post- communism: Women and alcohol in eight post - Soviet states, Social Science & Medicine, 68, 1254- 1262.

Following the collapse of the U.S.S.R., the rate of mortality relating to alcohol abuse. The majority of research though regarding the proliferation of self-medication for increased social pressure, economic hardship and a shift in deeply engrained ideology had been focused on men. It was believed that men who bore more of the burden of the shift were more likely to develop psychological disorders relating to and occurring with addiction to alcohol. However, it has been observed that the mortality rate for women in former Soviet states is also high in connection with alcohol abuse. This paper specifically addresses the role of gender and social role shift as a possible exacerbating factor for the increase in dependence on alcohol by women.

Drug Law and Health Policy Resource Network. (2001). Drug Policy and Health in Armenia . Yerevan, Armenia.

This report compiled by a non-governmental organization which monitors drug law and its impact worldwide is a crucial piece of statistical data representing the growth of narcotic dependence within the populace of Armenia. Further this report identifies both domestic and international sources not only of drugs, but also of the activities which lead to traceable infections such as HIV / AIDS. Though the scope of this project is limited to substance abuse, contracting diseases such as HIV / AIDS is a genuine risk specifically in the context of intravenous drug use. This profile identifies growth patterns and systemic deregulation of the government which allow industries based on human and narcotic trafficking which exacerbate the already growing problem.

U.S. Department of State. (2006). Annual Narcotic Control Reports. Washington, D.C.

The inclusion of the Annual Narcotics Control reports allows the researcher to observe the increase in narcotic trafficking both into and out of Armenia. The reports indicate that while previously the majority of the products which came out of Armenia were simply transported through the Republic, an increasing amount is being distributed within its borders indicating that the number of people using those drugs is increasing. A current estimate indicates that between 12 and 20% of the population is currently dependent on illicit substances where formerly only approximately one in one thousand were substance dependent. Though the source of this information is beyond reproach, the fact that information regarding accurate substance dependence numbers is extremely difficult to acquire. The wide range represented above is an indication of how poor the flow of empirical data is out of Armenia.

Amnesty International. (2008). No Pride in Silence: Domestic and Sexual Violence Against Women in Armenia. London, U.K.

Stress is among the leading reasons an individual will develop an addiction to an analgesic substance such as alcohol or narcotics. In Armenia, the patriarchal society is one in which physical and psychological violence against women is part of the cultural heritage and is largely an accepted aspect of society. Though the crimes commonly reported range from minor injuries to murder and even torture there are extremely lax rules in place to protect women and children and virtually no shelters where battered women and children may seek refuge. This fact of existence may be a significant contributor to the reason for such high dependence rates. Instituting stricter laws may ultimately result in the decrease in new cases of addiction as well as encouraging women already struggling with addiction to seek help.

The Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe. (2007). Women Empowerment and Cooperation in Armenia with a focus in the Syunik Region. Yereven, Armenia.

This paper looks specifically at the gender equalities facing women in Armenia. The participation of women in the sex or narcotics trade is in some instances the only possible means for them to support their family. Not only does this ultimately result in their increased exposure to potentially life threatening illnesses but also to narcotic substances and a culture of alcohol dependence to address the trauma of their life situations. A clear understanding of the social and economic reality facing women in Armenia is essential for contextual understanding of their narrative interviews.

Rehm J, Monteiro M, Room R, Gmel G, Jernigan D, Frick U, Graham K. (2001). Steps towards constructing a global comparative risk analysis for alcohol consumption: determining indicators and empirical weights for patterns of drinking, deciding about theoretical minimum, and dealing with different consequences. Eur Addict Res, 7,138-147.

This paper discusses the options facing young people in terms of alcohol addiction. Though the women interviewed for this project are all adults, it is likely that their difficulties with addiction began in adolescence. This report compiles information from not only Armenia but regions around the globe where similar problems are being faced. Within the report is a discussion of possible solutions some of which have and are being implemented and some which are purely theoretical. It is interesting to see the social and cultural factors addressed in this report compared to those revealed by the participants.

World Health Organization, The World Health Report .(2002). Reducing risks, promoting healthy life. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2002.

The lifestyle in which substance dependence is possible, is one which denotes high risk. This WHO report identifies a number of Eastern European countries, including Armenia in which addiction and other high risk activities are becoming a significant… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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