Substance abuse has been one of the major public health issue in the community of Bronx, New York city. The community of Bronx has a population size of approximately 128,600 individuals and the total area of is nearly 1.9 square miles (this means that in every square mile, there is almost 73, 308 individuals) (United States Census Bureau, 2018). In addition, this community has a mixed races including whites (295,351), Black or African Americans (476, 525), Asians (52, 462), Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders (706), Hispanic or Latino (796, 193), and other minority races (28,554) (United States Census Bureau, 2018). In addition, majority of the populations in this community are the youths and middle aged individuals, in such a way that approximately 26.4 percent are below 18 years, 64 percent are aged between 18 and 64 years, while almost 9 percent is composed of individuals who are 65 and above years. Moreover, the level of educational attainment in this community is low since only 17 percent of individuals have a bachelor`s degree. Apparently, the crime levels are high, averaging to 2,035 crimes being reported every year, and in one way or the other, this high crime levels can be associated with increased levels of substance abuse. Most of the substances abused are not limited to alcohol, cigarettes, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. According to a survey that was done by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) alcohol and cigarettes are the most abused of all drugs. The most devastating aspect is that majority of drug users are youths who are below 30 years of age, and this campaign will largely target this population.
According to Terrell Jones, who has been a long time resident of Bronx, a number of deaths that are related to substance abuse are increasingly being reported and witnessed in various parts of the community. Occasionally, bodies of individuals who have been injected with heroin are being reported in various places such as public parks, public restrooms, under bridges, and to the worst, some bodies are undiscovered for days especially if the individual was alone when he injected and overdosed heroine.
Considering that the community of Bronx is a metropolitan community due to its diverse races that reside in it, health discrimination has been one of the major factors which have been contributing to health inequity. The number of whites who are addicted to substance abuse is by far lower compared to that of non-whites. In addition, limited health care facilities are present in Bronx County, and the few which are available are located at a far distance that most of the locals find it challenging to trek all the way. In addition, the aspect of running positive health behavior programs is rarely implemented in this County, and this can be one of the main reasons why most of the youths and adults have extensively engaged themselves in drugs. It is worth noting that most individuals in this county who are addicted to substance abuse might have gone to that extent due to lack of knowledge concerning the dangers of abusing drugs. If substance awareness programs are implemented frequently, most individuals who may be intending to start abusing drugs, as well as those who are already using them can change their minds to the better.
Despite this, there are numerous primary community and prevention resources that are available to address substance abuse in this community. For example, the state of New York has the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the programs that it runs are implemented in all its counties, including the Bronx County. The OASAS is a single state agency whose main focus is on the area of addiction services. The agency runs more than 1550 health promotional programs which entails providing comprehensive prevention and education in schools and communities, citizen involvement, promoting public awareness through community action groups, establishing linkages between clients` services with other human service agencies, providing alcoholism and substance abuse counselors, health practitioners as well as prevention specialists.
Consecutively, the community has a rehabilitation center where individuals who are addicted and are willing to quit from substance abuse can seek services and counseling. Though only limited number of individuals who embrace the aspect of seeking rehabilitation services, and out of this majority of them relapse after some time, additional prevention measures are needed. This would ensure that a higher number of addicted individuals are taken into the rehabilitation centers and do not relapse. Moreover, the community has a police unit which is mandated to fig