Assignment 1: Discussion—Relapse and Pain
Due Jan. 8, 2015
One of the largest hurdles in recovering from a substance use disorder does not concern getting sober, but rather, staying sober over time. Relapse is a constant threat; clients are consistently battling against their triggers to remain sober. Additionally, many recovering users suffer from pain, sometimes due to the initial conditions that led them to use, or from conditions developed through their chronic substance use.
Keeping this in mind, respond to the following questions:
- Evaluate the most common relapse triggers.
- Analyze at least two relapse prevention strategies.
- Explain how pain causes complications in preventing relapse in sober clients.
- Hypothesize the risks and benefits in sober clients using pain medication as prescribed to help manage their pain.
Using information from the textbook, lecture materials, and other scholarly resources, write your initial response in approximately 300–400 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
Assignment 2: LASA 1—Gregory’s Treatment
Due Jan. 10, 2015
People that abuse substances have individual reasons for what first drove them to begin using these substances in the first place. Some clients started using them through experimentation, peer pressure, or curiosity. However, many users began using substances as a way of dealing with other issues in their lives, such as depression, anxiety, weight loss, or other physical or mental disorders. In still other cases, mental and physical disorders may result in response to chronic substance abuse. In these cases, it is important to determine what the co-occurring disorder is, as well as the substance abuse problem, in order to determine the best course of treatment.
Read the following scenario and then respond to the questions that follow:
You are a substance abuse counselor. Gregory, your new client, has come to you for help with his alcohol use problem. Gregory is married with three children and works as a sales representative for a large corporation in the city. In your first meeting with Gregory, you discover that his drinking began as a way to alleviate the anxiety he felt in social situations. Over time, Gregory began using alcohol more often. He found that every time he used alcohol, his anxiety lifted and he was able to be more at ease during work, out with colleagues, and at other such public events. Over time, Gregory realized he needed more alcohol than before to get the same anxiety relieving effects.
Two weeks ago, one of Gregory’s coworkers became suspicious that Gregory was drinking at work. That same day, while Gregory was driving home from work, he was pulled over by the police. He passed the field sobriety test and the officer let him off with a warning. These two events served as a wake-up call for Gregory as he realized his alcohol use may be beyond his control.
Gregory has made an appointment with you because he sincerely wants to curtail his alcohol use.
To help Gregory achieve his goals, write a paper that analyzes the components of his scenario. In your paper, ensure that you include the following information:
- Summarize the history and usefulness of the four major contemporary treatment modalities (crisis intervention, individual counseling, group counseling, and family counseling).
- Evaluate Gregory’s dual diagnosis (also referred to as “co-occurring disorders”) and the implications for counseling. Keep the following questions in mind:
- Describe the meaning of dual diagnosis and how it impacts counseling.
- Classify Gregory’s primary and secondary diagnoses.
- Analyze the implications in treating a secondary diagnosis.
- Evaluate the limitations for an alcohol and drug counselor when treating diagnoses other than those related to substance abuse. Describe the circumstances where the four treatment modalities might be useful in a dual diagnosis.
- Recommend at least one treatment modality for Gregory and explain your recommendation using at least two scholarly references.
Write a 4–5-page paper in Word format. Use scholarly resources, including your textbook, to support your ideas. Your paper must be in Word format and include a title page and reference page in addition to the 4-5-pages of content. Apply APA 6th edition standards to the format of the paper, and the citation of sources.
Assignment 3: Discussion—Barriers and Differences in Treating Women
Due Jan. 15, 2015
Treating substance-abusing women can be a completely different entity from treating men. Often, women who abuse substances face significant barriers when seeking treatment, and are often in need of therapeutic techniques specifically tailored to suit their needs.
Keeping this in mind, and using the textbook, lecture materials, and other scholarly resources, respond to the following questions:
- Describe the barriers that women face when seeking treatment.
- Compare and contrast how these barriers differ from the barriers faced by men.
- Recommend several treatment modifications that should be made for women in treatment.
- Explain why these modifications are important and how they are different from treatment for men.
Write your initial response in approximately 300–400 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
Assignment 4: Positive Psychology and Spirituality
Due Jan. 17, 2015
Substance abuse counseling lends itself nicely to the integration of positive psychology and spirituality. While both of these therapy approaches have been explored for many years, the integration into substance abuse counseling is a relatively new development. As such, many clients may not be aware of the techniques in positive psychology and spirituality that can be of use in their recovery.
Juanita has been seeking treatment for her marijuana use from you for a month now. While she has significantly cut back on her substance use, she is having difficulty quitting and remaining abstinent for periods that last longer than a few days. In your counseling sessions, Juanita has mentioned that she feels very badly about herself—she feels guilty about being unable to quit and explains that she doesn’t think she is strong enough to quit altogether. She has also expressed nervousness that her boyfriend would no longer like her if she quit smoking, and she has expressed concern that if he leaves her, she wouldn’t be able to find a new boyfriend because she doesn’t believe she is pretty enough. Juanita is also unsatisfied with her job as a cashier at the local grocery store, but has expressed her opinion that she doesn’t think she is smart enough to get a better job. You know from Juanita’s history, that her mother was very critical of Juanita when she was a child and that her father was absent for most of her childhood. In high school, Juanita excelled at classes in biology and math, but she never attended college.
To help Juanita overcome her barriers to marijuana abstinence, write a summary of what you will cover in your next meeting with Juanita. Ensure that you cover the following points:
- Explain the concepts of positive psychology to Juanita.
- Examine the goals of positive psychology and explain how this approach will help Juanita obtain sobriety, focusing specifically on the concerns and dissatisfactions she has expressed.
- Design at least two exercises based on positive psychology for Juanita to work on in between counseling sessions.
- Explain spirituality to Juanita, emphasizing the differences between spirituality and religion.
- Examine how spirituality and positive psychology can work together to help Juanita achieve her goals.
Write a 4–5-page paper in Word format. Use scholarly resources, including the textbook to support your ideas. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
Assignment 5: LASA 2—Self-Help Evaluation
Due Jan. 22, 2015
The self-help movement has swept the world of substance abuse treatment. A new client may not be aware of any treatment options open to them aside from those of self-help group meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. While self-help groups are not a solution for every client, they have been shown to be useful in some cases.
As future substance abuse counselors, it is important that you explore and be aware of the different self-help groups and what goes on in these group meetings.
Begin this assignment by doing the following:
Attend a self-help group related to substance abuse. There are multiple options including AA Open Meetings, Al-Anon, Women for Sobriety, and so forth. Information is easily accessible on the Internet. Note that some meetings are closed while others are open. At Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), most weekly groups are closed; however, open meetings are held primarily on weekends when all are welcome to attend.
Information for your area can be obtained through “AA Intergroup” at http://aa-intergroup.org/.
Introduce yourself and let folks know that you are a student. Remember to follow the guidelines of confidentiality.
If you are unable to access a twelve-step group because one is not available in your area, either research an online self-help group or research the implications of self-help groups in general including their strengths and weaknesses.
Write a paper about your experience and make sure you cover the following:
- Evaluate the self-help group you attended and/or researched. Critique the strengths and weaknesses of self-help groups in terms of their value in the treatment of substance abuse.
- Hypothesize what types of clients would be a good match for the group that you attended and/or researched. What types of clients would not be a good match? Consider age, gender, culture, race, sexuality, religion/spirituality, and the severity of substance abuse. Include other evaluation criteria for differential treatment. Explain your reasoning.
- Predict how self-help groups are evolving over time. How can technology be used to supplement and/or replace face-to-face support groups?
- Appraise the effect on the group experience when involuntary clients are present. Include the effect to treatment, counseling, and collaboration.
- Recommend several ways to overcome resistance. How may technology be used to overcome resistance to treatment? Include collaboration issues involved in the treatment of involuntary clients using technology.
Write a paper in Word format and make sure you include a title page and reference page in addition to the 6–8-pages of content. Apply APA 6th edition standards to the format of the paper, and the citation of sources.
Assignment 6: Discussion—Licensure, Certification Requirements, and Career Enhancement
Due Jan. 26, 2015
Over the course of the past few modules you have learned about the theories of substance abuse counseling. This includes the ethical principles of counseling, ways to apply these principles, and the development of treatment plans, as well as many other areas applicable to substance abuse counseling. You discussed and answered questions about how to deal with specific situations in counseling, how to work with clients, and how to develop a theoretical framework.
By now you will have come to the conclusion that your education as a substance abuse counselor does not stop here. There are many career enhancement resources available to substance abuse counselors. To prepare for this final discussion question, explore the following resources for both career enhancement and licensure or certification requirements:
Using the information you have examined on the recommended Web sites listed above, respond to the following questions:
- Explain which of the treatment techniques discussed in this course you will use the most in your career and why?
- Identify the areas in substance abuse counseling that you need for future learning to help you in your career and include at least one career enhancement resource available to substance abuse counselors that will help you meet this goal.
- Explore the licensure or certification requirements in your state. What are the steps to obtain licensure or certification in your state? Identify the continuing education requirements for maintaining your licensure or certification in your state.
Write your initial response in approximately 300–400 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.