Drug Abuse


In 2011, the people from the first wave of baby boomers generation turned 65, and they comprise 30% of the entire population of the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, this population is expected to increase to 72,1 million from 40,3 million between 2010 and 2030. Historically, these older adults have demonstrated lower rates of substance abuse and the treatment associated with it when compared to younger adults.These facts perpetuated the misconceived notion that older adults do not abuse any mood altering substances, and existing evidence indicates that substance abuse among the older population has been significantly lower than it was identified. Cigarette smoking is prevalent among this population, and approximately 14% of older adults aged over 65 and above reported that they had used tobacco within the past one year. Clinical trials that examined cessation of smoking interventions indicated that people from this population tend to be long-term heavy smokers who are psychologically dependent on nicotine. This study proposes a smoking cessation intervention program based on the Social Cognitive Theory. Intervention Interventions for smoking cessation are considered an acceptable treatment for nicotine dependence and they represent a type of health service that is able to provide the preventive and prognostic benefits in managing a variety of diseases. In addition, interventions that are focused on smoking cessation are considered to be of high priority in the light of the high cost-effectiveness relative to many health services. There are numerous theories that can be applied for this purpose, however, for this group of elderly smokers, the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) will be used as an interventional theory to promote smoking cessation (McHugh, Hearon, & Otto, 2010 ). According to SCT, smoking just like any other behavior is learned through observation sustained during a prolonged period, which is the case of the elderly (Fryling, Johnston, & Hayes, 2011). Similarly, smoking cessation can also be learned through observation and the SCT theory has been effective in promoting smoking cessation. For example, according to Zheng et al. (2007), following the cessation intervention based on SCT in a group of Chinese smokers, after 6 months, nearly half of the intervention group (40,5%) and 5% of the control group had stopped smoking with a risk reduction of 35,5%. A year later, the proportion of individuals who had quit within the intervention group were 35,8% and 22% respectively (Zheng et al., 2007). The Hutchinson Study of High School Smokers that was based on the SCT also revealed that there was a near doubling in the rate of abstinence among the selected baseline of daily smokers in 6 months after the initiation of the program (Bricker et al., 2010). Therefore, due to the abovementioned efficacy of SCT, it was selected for the intervention. As a part of the intervention, we will collaborate with the American Heart Association (AHA). The organization deals with heart disease issues and it has identified smoking among the independent risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD), a risk of which is increased among the elderly. Therefore, they provide detailed information on how to quit smoking and provide resources for helping individuals quit and fight urges including the creation of a quitting plan. The participants will be enrolled in the self-selection smoking cessation program or the ongoing smoking cessation program in a teaching hospital. One hundred community-dwelling smokers of both genders aged 65 years and above who smoke at least six cigarettes a day will be enrolled in the intervention program. To ensure cultural competencies, individuals of all genders and races will be included in the intervention program according to the norms set to eliminate any form of discrimination among participants and intervention program providers. This recruitment protocol has been reviewed and approved by the MCPHS Universitys IRB. An outpatient training and counseling intervention will involve the provision of training sessions and group therapy sessions with ex-smokers who successfully quit for a period of 8 weeks, at which each week they will receive a one hour of psychoeducation class on smoking cessation techniques and one hour of compulsory support group meeting attendance with ex-smokers. During the intervention, a social media site (Facebook) will be used as a support system for the group members to interact with previous users who have successfully quit smoking. The internet will be employed to help clients share plans and programs for smoking cessation with their mentors. Finally, the internet will be used to display videos dedicated to the lifestyles of ex-smokers and the things they do to avoid relapsing. The psychoeducation sessions will be moderated by trained addiction nurses and an addiction counselor together with two ex-abusers. After 4 weeks of the program, a non-smoking family member will be involved to provide the smoker with social support and observable motivation to learn how to stay without smoking. To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, a survey will be conducted among one hundred patients in 4 weeks after the completion of the 8-week intervention program. This survey will be done on a quarterly basis to establish the rate of relapse; high relapse rate will indicate the programs effectiveness and low relapse rate will indicate the ineffectiveness of the intervention program. The main purpose of SCT is to achieve behavior change through observation and social support, and the absence of relapse to previous behavior would indicate successful behavior modification. As it was mentioned, smoking is learned by observation through social interactions. Psychologically, learned behavior can be unlearned. Social Cognitive Theory has been proven effective in behavior modification and, as discussed above, the previous research has proved the effectiveness of SCT in promoting smoking cessation. Therefore, the abovementioned program is considered effective in promoting smoking cessation among the selected population. About the author: Kate Wilson is a master in Literature at Maryland University. She is currently working as one of the best writers at https://essay-online-shop.com/article/discussion-essay-writing-service/ She also studies male psychology.