ERnurse journal is a great blog. I haven't been by in a while, but I really liked this post [The Usual Suspects] I agree that prevention and health promotion could go a long way to reducing numbers in the ER. I wish there was a quick fix way to turn the system on it's head and make public health and primary care the driving force rather than the secondary & tertiary care in the hospitals.
Anyways, re: your quote "For the drunks and drug users that we have to cater to every night, I really don't know what to say" I just wanted to offer a couple of suggestions to help you formulate what you might want to say (knowing full well you may come down against, which, of course, is fine too). Below are some prevention & promotion ideas & resources for this segment of the population.
Harm reduction is a big, scary idea for a lot of people, which is [kinda] understandable given how addiction in our society is seen as an issue of criminality rather than of mental health/ illness.
My own blog is all about a harm reduction approach in Vancouver, Canada, the Insite Safe Injection Site. Here's an intro.