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Treating Substance Abuse/Addiction

Contributor: Yvette McBride Thomas

Characteristics

  • About 25% of counseling cases relate to substance abuse and addiction.
  • Substance abusers have dysfunctional dynamics making them difficult to work with.
  • Three most common ways counselors work with addicted persons include outpatient, residential, and inpatient.
  • Addicts must be “dry” or “dried out” for 30 days or more to give them a “clean” body and mind to use in doing something different and positive.
  • Alcoholic family systems have an overresponsible/underresponsible phenomenon.
    • Over-responsible people are codependent and seek to control others and feel inadequate when faced with disappointments but are easier with whom to work in counseling situations.
    • Underfunctioning people are less motivated to change.

Factors Affecting Treatment include:

  • Motivation – Most substance abusers/addicts do not desire to change and are self-centered and are comfortable where they are.
  • Denial – is minimizing the effects of substance abuse/addiction on either oneself or others.
  • Dual Diagnosis – An abuser/addict has more than one aspect of personality that needs treatment (i.e., addiction and depression).
  • Matching – Finding the right treatment for a disorder.
  • Control – the regulation of a behavior
  • Relapse – the reoccurrence or recidivism of dysfunctional behaviors one they have been treated.

Treatment Strategies for Individuals

  • Motivational Interviewing (MI) is used to lower resistance in substance abuse/addiction cases.
    • This approach draws from person-centered counseling and includes such skills as active listening, reflection, and reframing.
  • Bibliotherapy
    • Bibliotherapeutic approach may work with some individuals.
    • Abusers and addicts read books or view/listen to media and discuss ideas related to what they have experienced.
  • Cautions to remember for counselors working with adolescents regarding alcohol and substance use:
    • Working with adolescents is a treatment specialty.
    • Family and significant people in their lives should be included for counseling to be effective.
    • Adolescents need to be educated about what counseling is.
    • Therapeutic techniques need to be specifically tailored to adolescents.
    • Counselors cannot function as the adolescent’s friend.
    • Counseling focus should be centered on problem solving, skill building, and just being heard.
    • “Therapeutic moments” are more uneven with adolescents.

Specific Treatments

  • Treating Alcohol Abuse/Addiction – Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Background of AA
    • AA is the oldest successful treatment program in the world and was founded in the 1930s.
    • AA is a fellowship and a rehabilitation program.
    • Alcoholics have “character defects” that “are feelings, beliefs, and behaviors that dispose them to seek a sense of well-being by abusing alcohol.
    • Meetings are conducted with small groups and literature.
    • Key component in AA
    • A 12-step program that has its basis on a spiritual foundation
    • Group discussions center on the need and availability of support of others and a dependence on a higher power.
    • Members are never “cured;” rather they are “in recovery.”
    • Emphasis is also given to responsibility, forgiveness, restitution (when possible), affirmation, ritual, and fellowship.

Treating Nicotine Addictions

  • Over 25% of Americans smoke cigarettes, three million of whom are adolescents.
  • About 80% of those who abuse or are addicted to alcohol smoke.
  • Most nicotine dependent people are not successful as a group in their goal of smoking cessation.

Successful techniques for counselors

Telephone counseling

  • Counseling consists of a 15- to 30- minute phone call where counselors give positive, nonjudgmental feedback to those who are trying to quite smoking.
    • The goal is to promote self-efficacy.
  • Rapid smoking
    • After counseling, smokers go through a series of six 1-hour sessions where they inhale a cigarette every 6 seconds until they feel too sick to continue.
    • The goal is to produce a conditioned negative response to the taste of cigarettes.
  • Skills training
    • Coping skills are taught after clients have learned to recognize the triggers that produce the urge to smoke.
  • Most successful skills taught:
    • Self-statements about the financial and health benefits of discontinuing smoking
    • Oral substitutes
    • Increased physical activity
    • Buddy system

Treating Substance Abuse/Addiction Part II

DYI! Get ready with me.Samantha DeLint - Youtube Channel

DYI! Get ready with me.
Samantha DeLint – Youtube Channel

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1 Comment

  1. […] Treating Substance Abuse/Addiction (lcdcexamreview.wordpress.com) […]

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