Drug Demand Reduction and Nursing Professional Involvements

By Oluremi Adejumo, DNP, MS, RN, FIAAN, CGNC, Oluwabunmi Buhari, MBBS, FWACP, Elizabeth Ogunbiyi, MPH, DAC, RPN, RN, RM, & Lynn Chen, PhD

The 2023 United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) highlighted a 23% increase in the prevalence of drug use worldwide [1]. With the legalization of cannabis in many countries, nurses must anticipate that the decades ahead will likely require an increased demand for mental and physical healthcare services in an already strained workforce relating to nursing shortages across the globe. Consequently, this will further stretch the abilities of nations achieving sustainable development goal #3, which can transcend to other goals as demand for healthcare and expenditures increase exponentially.

Empowering nurses with tools to deliver high-quality, community-based drug demand reduction care to reduce the prevalence of substance use disorders in our global communities is the key to promoting good health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. One such tool is intra- and inter-professional collaboration, which involves nurses working together within their profession and also with other healthcare professionals, policymakers, and stakeholders in the healthcare industry to address drug use. Though it seems simple, this collaboration can promote the teamwork needed for drug demand reduction [DDR].


How do we get there?

Nurses must:

  • Bridge the intra-professional rivalries among themselves …… We need each other.
  • Engage collective efforts to enhance DDR at the local, regional, and international levels.
  • Encourage the contributions of individuals dealing with the menace of substance use disorders.

My collaborators and I are demonstrating an exemplary Nigeria-based Community Public Health Leadership Team Effort to enhance drug demand reduction and halt the progressions of Type 2 Diabetes in the substance-using population.

Left to Right: Elizabeth Ogunbiyi, Oluwabunmi Buhari and Oluremi Adejumo

Dr. Adejumo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Partnership, Professional Education, and Practice at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD. Together with colleagues, she is currently implementing a project entitled, Diabetes Prevention Translation: Integrated Nurse-Led Peer Facilitated Healthy Lifestyle Controlled Study in a North Central Nigeria Tertiary Hospital. This project aims to integrate evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program research into the case of clients with substance use disorders to promote workforce development and improve the respondents’ health outcomes.


International Council of Nurses. (2012, May12). Closing the gap from evidence to action. https://www.nursingworld.org/~4aff6a/globalassets/practiceandpolicy/innovation–evidence/ind-kit-2012-for-nnas.pdf

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2023, July 11). Executive summary: World drug report, 2023. https://www.unodc.org/res/WDR-2023/WDR23_Exsum_fin_SP.pdf

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016, March 09). Creating a healthier life: A step-by-step guide to wellness. https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/sma16-4958.pdf

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.