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  1. Naegle, Madelne PhD, CNS-PMH, FAAN
  2. Fougere, Merry Armstrong DNSc, APRN

Article Content

This issue of the Journal of Addictions Nursing focuses on research and clinical perspectives on interventions, ethical questions, and research findings central to the specialty practice of addictions nursing. As the science undergirding the patterns and effects of addictive behaviors has grown, so have the protocols and policies related to substance use and behavioral addictions.

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The "soon to be published" International Classification of Disease (ICD) 11 will introduce more nuanced interpretations of patterns of substance use and their implications for health, including diagnoses based on the harm that the substance use causes for the individual's family or social well-being. The scientific evidence is foundational to practice by providers of several disciplines and roles.


How does nursing practice differ from that of medicine and other social sciences? The work by nurse clinicians and researchers in this edition emerge from professional roles related to the concerns and health care needs of persons at risk for, or experiencing, substance use disorders (SUDs) and/or dual diagnoses. Increasingly, dual diagnoses, defined as a SUD, and a diagnosed major psychiatric disorder account for high mortality and morbidity linked worldwide with substance use.


Nurses, along with other providers who care for persons at risk for, or experiencing, SUDs, practice based on attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge about SUDs, and optimally, their professional practices are based not only on the scientific evidence shared with other disciplines but also on nursing models and other biopsychosocial theories.


These broad-based theories include philosophies that are emerging worldwide like patient-centered care (Institute of Medicine, 2001; World Health Organization, 2007), always central to the work of nurses. Innovation generated by research and as a function of translating scientific findings to practice builds on discoveries, which should lead to policy changes. The World Health Organization patient-centered care model resonates with the early work of Nightingale and builds on the social determinants of health (Marmot, 2005), renewing long endorsed public health and nursing perspectives. Social circumstances, personal attributes, and socioeconomic factors, both causative and contributory, are given weight in understanding health and disease.


Newer concepts stimulate practice changes and direct nursing research on SUDs and behavioral addictions. New configurations of the nurse-patient relationship require reflection and voice. We think we have provided that here.


We hope to raise questions about how the nurse incorporates changes into the nurse-patient relationship based on new scientific evidence and applied within a nursing framework.


How do we work with others to translate nursing knowledge and expertise as well as research generated by other disciplines into our scope and standards of practice? We offer the contents of this issue with these questions in mind.




Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10027[Context Link]


Marmot M. (2005). Social determinants of health inequalities. Lancet, 365(9464), 1099-1104. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)71146-6 [Context Link]


World Health Organization. (2007). People centered health care: A policy framework. Geneva, Switzerland: Author. [Context Link]