A Response to Disaster | The Jackal

24 Mar 2011

A Response to Disaster

Disaster-related experiences including negative life changes,  post-disaster stressors, and resource loss, which have a unique relationship with mental health. While resource loss has the strongest inverse relationship with mental health, disaster exposure has a negative interactive effect on psychological distress and anxiety.

In America, Multivariate analysis revealed that rises in AT use were positively associated with education. Females and younger evacuees were more likely to have increased AT use. ID use increase was positively associated with resource loss and leaving the city before Katrina. Decreases in AT and ID use were found to be associated with disaster-related exposure.

Another distinguishing characteristic of New Orleans compared to other US cities is that it had one of the highest drug-use prevalence rates in the country. According to the 2003 results of the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program, 78 per cent of the adult male and 60 per cent of the adult female arrestee population in New Orleans tested positive for any of five drugs (cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates and phenylcyclohexylpiperidine (PCP) (Zhang, 2003). African American neighbourhoods had the highest levels of crime, drug use and identified major drug distribution centres (National Drug Intelligence Center, 2001). Many of these neighbourhoods were located in areas most devastated by Katrina and the ensuing floods.

Even the psychological consequences that lead to drug dependency in relation to disasters in our mass media psychologically dependant society determine a ratio of implications that should not be underestimated. A response to the physiological trauma from disaster must be made.

There is no question that reliance on mind-altering substances is attributed with traumatic occurrences. The addict or recreational user requires a shift of consciousness to remedy the negative impact of the circumstances that surrounds them, in the present or past. This, depending on your point of view is a good or bad thing. However in relation to a copping mechanism it is usually determined in a negative light.