As substance abuse counselors, we must understand the established diagnostic criteria included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) standards and in the most current International Classification of Diseases (ICD) standards. This knowledge will help us establish client’s placement criteria, and will allow us to identify the strengths and limitations of both the diagnostic criteria and the placement criteria.
Note: I did not know what TAP 21 meant by placement criteria, so I went online and found this website American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and I read the table of contents of their placement criteria publication. Placement criteria refers to the type of treatment the client will be placed into, depending on the diagnosis. Types of treatment could be: early intervention, intensive outpatient (IOP), or Opiod Maintenance Therapy (OMT).
Supplemental readings about placement criteria and diagnosis:
Variety of Help
Because substance abuse treatment is not a one-size-fits-all, substance abuse counselor must be familiar with all the options out there in regards to helping strategies. The following list mentions some of them, just to give you an idea:
- Methods and tools used to evaluate the substance abuse problem.
- Interventions that match the client’s stage/level of dependence, change, and recovery.
- The use of motivational interviewing (MI).
- Ways to get the family and social network involved in the recovery process.
- Support groups and self-help groups.
- Court-ordered and voluntary care models.
- Brief therapy interventions
- Long-term therapy interventions.
Services Appropriate to Cultural Background
A competent substance abuse counselor must be aware of and respect the diversity within and among cultures. For example:
- Diverse cultural norms, values, beliefs, and behaviors.
- Differences in verbal and nonverbal communication.
As substance abuse counselors dealing with clients from multicultural backgrounds, we need to find the resources to develop individualized treatment plans. We need to know the strengths and limitations of the available treatment options, how to have access to them and make referrals.
Medical and Pharmacological Resources
We must be familiar with:
- Current literature related to medical and pharmacological interventions.
- Potential risks and benefits of medical and pharmacological interventions.
- Health practitioners in the community who have training in and knowledge about addiction and addiction treatment.
Service Coverage Options
Some substance abuse counselors might not like this part of the job, and even try to avoid it, but it is very important and necessary to do it and do it well. We must be familiar with:
- The variety of public and private payment plans.
- Methods of gaining access to available payment plans.
- Policies and procedures used by available payment plans.
Our goal is to cooperate with payment providers in order to promote the most cost-effective, high-quality care for our clients.
Prepare for a Crisis
Features of crisis:
- Family disruption
- Social and legal problems
- Physical and psychological
- Panic states
- Physical dysfunction
How to respond and follow through in crisis situations?
- Perform substance use screening and assessment.
- Use of prevention and intervention principles and methods.
- Use of principles of crisis case management.
- Be familiar with posttraumatic stress symptoms.
- Methods of debriefing after critical events.
- Know the available resources for assistance in the management of crisis situations.