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High Risk Family Assessment Essay

3144 words - 13 pages

High Risk Family Assessment and Health Promotion: Alcoholism
Marli Whitener-Patterson
University of Phoenix
Nur 542
Cindy Sessler
September 23, 2012

High Risk Family Assessment and Health Promotion: Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a growing problem in many families. It is “our nation’s number one health along with drug dependence” (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, para 1). Alcoholism affects everyone, sometimes without warning; no family is exempt or untouched. “Fathers, mothers, single parents, couples straight or gay, regardless of ethnicity or social groups, rich ...view middle of the document...

Additionally, drinking can damage the pancreas, causing a disruption in the digestive process. This can lead to abdominal pain and persistent diarrhea.
For the assessment of this paper, it will make use of a family that has two school age children and two adults, the father, an Active Duty service member and the mother also gainful employed. Also being addressed is the disease process of alcoholism and the effect that it has on a family and their ability to function with this high risk diagnosis. Alcoholism, according to The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (n.d.), is “a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal, and characterized by ongoing or episodic impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial.”
Clinical assessment of alcoholism reveals several points: 1) alcoholism is a chronic disease, 2) it is progressive and often fatal, and 3) it is characterized by distortions in judgment and denial. Alcoholics often belittle the level of their addiction. However, the extent of involvement is often severe and alcoholism is often a major contributing factor in many traffic accidents and acts of violence towards others (Harrington-Dobinson & Blows, 2007). “38% of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related….27% of aggravated assaults and 25% of simple assaults involved alcohol” (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.).
Alcoholism is involved in many avoidable situations that have led to negative outcomes, such as firearm accidents, unintentional injuries from slips or falls, drinking and driving, violence, development of chronic health problems, and risky sexual behaviors because of decreased inhibitions (Quick stats. Alcohol and public health – General information on alcohol use and health, n.d.).
Morbidity and Mortality Data for the Health Issues Faced by this Family
“About 43% of US adults, 76 million people, have been exposed to alcoholism in the family. Alcohol contributes to 100,000 deaths annually, making it the third leading cause of preventable mortality in the US, after tobacco and diet/activity patterns” (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc). Reasons for hospital admissions as they relate to alcohol consumption are alcoholic psychoses (36%), alcohol dependence syndrome (30%), cirrhosis (26%) and nondependent abuse of alcohol (8%) (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2007). Interpretation of those figures suggests that the father of this family would need hospitalization for multiple aspects relating to his alcoholism.
Assessment Considerations
Assessment considerations for this family...

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