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Community survey - Essay Example

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Guidelines Community Assessment Project and Paper Introduction Berwyn Heights is a town in the Prince George’s County, in Maryland. This is near Ohio and Baltimore railroad and is home to urban middle class families. It has a multicultural community predominantly comprising of Whites with African Americans, Asians and Hispanics as minorities…
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Download file to see previous pages Central lssue of the Community Diagnosis The community suffers from a high incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, especially among the teenagers and young adults. This was made clear from the available statistics and data in the public domain. This is partially due to the increased drug related crimes, and partially due to the lack of awareness and education among the ethnic minority community. While exact and specific data are not available for Berwyn Heights, a 1999 National Household survey had reported that 5.2 percent of the population of Maryland has abused drugs in the past month. Among those who reported drug abuse, majority comprised of the ages between 18 and 25 (Drug Alcohol Rehab, 2007). Majority of them had used marijuana followed by cocaine. Another survey, The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), also found that the State had a higher number of alcohol abuse. This was calculated on the basis of admission to the government treatment centers which increased to 59,091 in 1995 from a lesser number of admissions (56,885) in 1994. Some studies have pointed out that drug abuse is down among Berwyn Heights. Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) which is located in Baltimore conducted a study that found that there was an overall decrease in emergency admissions from 15863 in 1994 to 14171 in 1991 for Maryland, and much of the decline was attributed to decline in Berwyn Heights. Also, an Adolescent Survey in Maryland highlighted the fact that 6 to 8 graders drug abuse declined by 51% but, it was on the rise for teens. 63% of the Teenage students reported abusing drugs and 44.1 % reported abusing alcohol in the recent past (Drug Alcohol Rehab, 2007). While the above statistics are mostly State Level, a close observation of Berwyn Heights highlighted that incidence of drug and alcohol abuse was high among the African American young males. It was also found that the local government has initiated many crime control programs like Operation Convoy, Jetway and Pipeline that increased checks and controls on the movement of vehicles on land and water. There are however, very few community level non-governmental or governmental support groups that can provide awareness, education and preventive advice to the local community. Literature review A national household survey conducted using 4023 adolescents in the ages between 12 and 17 found that a leading cause of substance abuse was childhood physical and sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. This research also established that African American ethnic minority youth for at a higher risk of substance abuse than Whites and other ethnic minority groups (Kilpatrick et al, 2000). In a follow up study in 2003, the researchers Kilpatrick et al again found that the risk factors for ethnic youth were higher. Another national scale research found that there is a lack of availability of mental health care and alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment facilities for African Americans (Wells, 2001). Another research that was based on a collection of historical data on a large number of people belonging to African American community, it was found that this community was more likely to indulge in substance and drug abuse as a result of what the authors called Historical Trauma (Heart, 2003). This trauma is the result of generations of suffering ethnic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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