Addictions nursing: IntNSA Europe mission

The European department of the International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) is a professional society for nurses committed to the prevention, detecting and diagnosing, treating, and management of addictive disorders.

IntNSA Europe wants to become the European leader in addictions nursing. In 2016 / 2017 addictions nurses in the United Kingdom, in Ireland, and in the Netherlands initiated the European department. Important goal for the next 5 years is to include more European countries and colleagues. Addictions expertise is needed throughout all fields in health care, and not only in the exclusive field of interest in specialized addictions centers. Addiction is everywhere around us and every nurse has to be aware of that.

IntNSA Europe joins forces by protecting the interests of addictions nursing practice through cooperation with other addictions professionals and organizations.

IntNSA Europe has her mission to advance excellence in nursing care for the prevention and treatment of addictions for diverse populations across all practice settings through advocacy, collaboration, education, research and policy development. Our goal is to help nurses provide comprehensive, high-quality nursing care for addicted patients and their families. IntNSA Europe has something to offer every nurse, regardless of their area of nursing practice. With the prevalence of addiction-related health consequences, we believe that all nurses must maintain a basic level of knowledge and skills in addictions. Our strength comes from our members, including clinicians, educators, managers, and researchers who practice in a wide variety of settings, including treatment centers, hospitals, schools, private practices, primary care, and other community agencies. We firmly believe that all nurses, regardless of their specialty or practice setting, can play a role in the promotion of healthy lifestyles and the early identification of people at greater risk for developing problems associated with the abuse of addictive substances.

IntNSA acknowledges the negative stigma of addiction and addicted patients in society. Patients suffer from this. Addictions nurses experiences show that this negative stigma has its repercussions on the acknowledgement of our fascinating work. Hence one of the important mission statements is to challenge these negative stigmatizations. Together with patients our aim is to be on the European agenda.

Addiction and Addictions Nursing

Addiction

ASAM (American Society on Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death. Addiction concerns  alcohol and other drug dependencies, nicotine dependencies, eating disorders, dual and multiple diagnosis, and process addictions such as gambling, social media, sex and buying.

Addictions Nursing

Nursing is involved in effects of addictions in human life. Using drugs, suffering from detoxification symptoms or craving, cause negative effects in human lives. Effects on functioning and participation in society in diverse roles. The effects of addiction are not only negative in health outcome in individual life span but also in costs in society. The economic value of health, being free of addictions is high.

Concerning human rights nurses should be aware of the autonomy and personal freedom of humans all over the world, recovery is an individual process and needs attention in a personal way of freedom, such as the right to use drugs. Long lasting addiction problems result in an chronic psychiatric disease, which humans have to live with. Nurses can assist patients with this struggle. Learning them to give place the loss of life and to incorporate the disabilities.

Addictions nursing can be seen from out three dimensions embedded in patient experienced care (ervaringsdeskundigheid) and caring for the network/family dimension of the individual patient; nursing practice, nursing education and excellence (expertise), and nursing research and innovations. Addictions nursing values are excellence: reinvigorating efforts to improve quality of care and quality of life for all persons impacted by substance use, abuse, and addiction. Compassion: Recognizing the importance of helping others through caring. Instilling hope to those who feel hopeless and empowering those who are powerless. Diversity: Affirming and accepting the uniqueness of each person – his/her idea, values, culture, and ethnicity. Integrity: Respecting the dignity and worth of every individual grounded on the understanding that addictions, like other chronic health problems can be prevented and treated.

IntNSA's Mission: To advance excellence in nursing care for the prevention and treatment of addictions for diverse populations across all practice setting through advocacy, collaboration, education, research and policy development.