Addiction nursing: Context of care giving

Introduction: The use and abuse of both legal and illegal psychoactive substances has become a major public health problem that acquires mass character in the context of the deep economic and socio-cultural crisis. Aim: The investigation of the nursing care of dependent individuals in the general hospital, primary health care and specialized treatment centers for addiction. Method: Study of international and Greek literature in electronic data basis and scientifi c journals. Results: Study of Greek and international literature from online databases and journals. Inadequate training of nurses on issues of addiction, stereotyped and false views on addicted individuals, fear for addressing aggressive or provocative behavior and the stigma of addiction are some of the barriers in the care of dependent individuals. Brief interventions have proven to be eff ective in motivating patients using substances and reducing the damage these substances cause. The role of the addiction nurse in specialized centers is multilevel and constitutes a challenge for the nurses attracted to it while off ering opportunities for self-development and autonomy. Conclusions: The incorporation of addiction nursing in undergraduate and postgraduate nursing programs as well as continuing education of nurses already working in the fi eld may contribute in early detection and intervention in substance use as well as in the prevention of burnout of professionals who frequently come into contact with drug users.

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