Make a follow-up of a student’s weekly discussion and respond with your opinion regarding to her post

——You don’t have to post this in APA format necessarily, it’s just giving feedback to the student with a paragraph, it doesn’t have to be a lot of text—-

Jennifer Goff

Dr. Petko and Class, 

Orleans County Vermont has a 0.5% higher than National average illicit drug use disorder among adults, the State of Vermont has a 1.3% higher illicit drug use than the National average (SAMHSA, 2020).  The drug of choice in Orleans, Vermont is heroin. Vermonters aged 18-25 years have among the highest heroin use rates in the country (Heroin and other opioids, 2022). A report by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration has found that each year approximately 80% of new heroin users in the United States has misused prescription pain medications, this data proves true for Vermont heroin abusers as well (Heroin and other opioids, 2022). 

Public health strategies to reduce heroin abuse includes stopping the misuse of prescription drugs, this can be done by improving Provider prescribing practices. “Health care professionals can also contribute to the initiation and continuation of substance abuse and dependency in various ways, becoming professional enablers” (Nies, 2019, p. 544). Safe prescribing strategies includes educating providers, identifying barriers that impede safe prescribing practices and then learning how to overcome them. Providers are encouraged to increase use of evidence based non-opioid pain treatment this could include physical therapy, yoga, massage, acupuncture, surgery, or nerve blocks (Heroin and other opioids, 2022).  Another tool for providers is The Vermont Prescription Monitoring System (VPMS). VPMS is a tool that collects, monitors and analyzes prescribing and dispensing data by both pharmacies and providers. VPMS has been proven effective in reducing prescription drug misuse and diversion (Public health strategies, 2019). 

A community health nurse could collaborate with the Vermont Department of Health to help educate the public about illicit drug use and the misuse of prescription drugs and how the two are connected. Education campaigns have been proven to help reduce illicit drug use and prescription misuse. Digital messaging campaigns are an effective tool in educating young adults.  Messaging campaigns would include information regarding what an opioid is, addressing risks of addiction, alternatives to be tried, the importance of keeping opioids in a safe place, not to share opioids and not to use with alcohol. Educating regarding the signs of an opioid addiction would be an important part of the messaging campaign as well as treatment and recovery options.  


Think you or someone you love may have an addiction to prescription drugs? #KnowTheSigns 



Heroin and other opioids. Vermont Department of Health. (2022, May 25). Retrieved July 14, 2022, from (Links to an external site.) 

Nies, M. (2019). Community/Public Health Nursing (7th Edition). Elsevier Health Sciences (US). (Links to an external site.) 

Public health strategies to reduce opioid use disorders 2019-2021. Public Health Strategies to Reduce Opioid Use Disorders • 2019-2021. (2019, January). Retrieved July 14, 2022, from (Links to an external site.) 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2020). Behavioral health barometer, volume 6 (Links to an external site.)