Evacuee Essay

1618 Words 7 Pages
It is important to note that the definition of evacuee is “a person evacuated from a place of danger to somewhere safe. There is no stipulation as to whether you must be evacuated prior to or after the disaster in order to be considered an evacuee. There is a large portion of evacuees who lacked resources to leave New Orleans prior to the storm. Due to this, several people were not evacuated until days after the storm hit. This initiates not only displacement stressors, but also immediate stressors such as lack of fresh water, lack of power, and an inability to find suitable and stable lodging (Lowe, Chan & Rhodes, 2010). By the time of evacuation the mental health of the survivors rested in a very fragile state. An increase in substance use …show more content…
The ability to return to a sense of normalcy was jeopardized by externalized behavior problems associated with substance abuse. There was an increase in poor school performance, suicidal behavior, as well as a heightened likelihood of arrest (Wagner, Brief, Vielhauer, Sussman, Keane & Malow, 2009). Substance abuse, though used as a coping mechanism for these young girls worsened symptoms associated with PTSD such as anxiety and withdrawn behavior. Between 25 to 76 percent of adolescents developed a substance use disorder following a trauma (Wagner, Brief, Vielhauer, Sussman, Keane & Malow, 2009). Women are likely to follow this trend, although sometimes the substance problem precedes the trauma. The substance use of men is typically intensified by a disaster whereas with women the disaster is the primary onset for substance use. This increase in substance use by young girls increased their exposure to more traumas. As young girls started to put themselves in risky environments in order to sustain their substance use they opened themselves up to interpersonal violence (Wagner, Brief, Vielhauer, Sussman, Keane & Malow, 2009). Regardless of the motivation behind the initial substance us, amongst adults and adolescents, this behavior opens the door for re-traumatization and starts a cycle that is difficult to break. The result of this disaster is that these young females are disenfranchised to a vicious cycle of trauma, in part due to their

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