PMHNP Assignment: Discussion Paper

PMHNP Assignment: Discussion Paper

Review of Current Healthcare Issues

Of all mental illnesses, substance abuse disorder results in the largest amount of lethal outcomes. Hjemsæter et al. (2019) states that death rates associated with overdose have increased intensely lately, which attracted additional attention to this issue. NIH (2019) supports this data and reveals that while about 18,000 people  died because of an overdose in 2000, three years ago this number reached more than 70,000. What is critical to consider is that currently used interventions fail to enhance the situation, and a gradual increase of death is observed annually. Alcohol abuse is observed twice more often than illicit drug use, but there are also individuals who suffer from both conditions simultaneously (Thomas, 2020). PMHNP Assignment: Discussion Paper


As a result of this illness, the workforce loses its productivity, health-associated expenses increases greatly, and crimes become more frequent. My hospital is adversely influenced by the increased prevalence of substance abuse as well. Affected individuals develop serious diseases) and resistance/addiction to analgesics and their children can be born either with addiction or with critical physiological abnormalities. Therefore, it becomes more complicated for the facility to improve their health condition. It becomes overcrowded, the duration of hospital stay prolongs, the lack of personnel leads to job dissatisfaction, recommended treatments become ineffective, and the number of lethal outcomes increases.PMHNP Assignment: Discussion Paper

To address the increased prevalence of substance abuse disorder, my facility has altered its guidelines. In particular, providers were encouraged to discuss substance abuse with patients and educate them regarding the ways to avoid it. They explain the complications associated with this issue and recommend counseling services regularly. Specific protocols to treat patients with this disorder are implemented. The use of painkillers is restricted and complementary medicine therapies are recommended instead. While previously people who abused substances lacked access to healthcare, many treatments became covered by insurance so that my hospital received an opportunity to provide them. Additionally, it may be advantageous for my facility to offer long-term recovery services based on psychiatric interventions.  


Hjemsæter, A. J., Bramness, J. G., Drake, R., Skeie, I., Monsbakken, B., Benth, J. S., & Landheim, A. S. (2019). Mortality, cause of death and risk factors in patients with alcohol use disorder alone or poly-substance use disorders: A 19-year prospective cohort study. BMC Psychiatry, 19, 1-9.

NIH. (2019). Overdose death rates. Retrieved from

Thomas, S. (2020, Feb. 3). Alcohol and drug abuse statistics. American Addiction Centers. Retrieved from PMHNP Assignment: Discussion Paper