Final Project, u10a1
Shamone L. Breazeale
Social Work’s Role in Substance Abuse/ Mental Illness HS 5423
September 14, 2012
Phone: (803) 369- 4841
Instructor: Dr. Kit Johnson, Ph.D.
“Two steps forward, one step back is an inescapable reality for substance-abuse social workers, in-demand counseling professionals who assist alcoholics and drug abusers on the road to recovery. These social workers recognize that chemical dependency is a chronic condition with a high rate of relapse, for which there is rarely a quick fix (monster.com, para1).” Social Workers and their jobs and requirements are vastly changing and the face of social work is changing as well. Social Workers were deemed primarily to assist with schools, jobs, and government agencies. The criteria for the mentally ill and the abusers have been thrown in as well and social workers are helping. Table of Contents
Role of Social Work
Future of Social Work
Social work is a profession that is forever changing. The role of social work as it relates to substance abuse/mental health has a role of helper, advocate, and educator and in the future these roles will encompass even more responsibilities and assignments. Substance abuse/mental health are two issues that affect our lives, economy, behaviors and families.
Substance abuse is when the use of a substance repeatedly and that use if the substance has social consequences that relate to taking the substance. This means that when the person is on the substance they cannot meet the requirements for work, school and family obligations. A substance is any medication that can be used or abused to either stimulate or depress the body and mind. Dependence is better known as addiction. Addiction is when changes physiologically and behaviorally the person is altered. If a person gets the effects and if the person ceases taking the substance, then withdrawal symptoms will persist and allows us to know that this person is addicted.” Substance abuse is more likely to be diagnosed among those who have just begun taking drugs and is often an early symptom of substance dependence (medicaldictionary.com).” Examples of substances of substance abuse include: alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, nicotine and sedatives. Some of the more common or drugs that may be readily available would include: caffeine, alcohol, glue, over-the –counter drugs and prescription medications. There are factors that are thought to contribute a person becoming a substance abuser. The first is genetic factors. Studies have shown that there is a gene that is associated with alcoholism. Psychopathology is the second factor that may make a person more apt to becoming a substance abuser because the use of the substance can eliminate issues if you already have Bi polar disorder, depression or other disorders. The final factor is a learned behavior and it determines if the person that is exposed to the substance will continue to use it based on whether or not it is accepted. DSM-IV-TR has seven criteria have to be met to be diagnosed as having substance dependence. All seven do not have to be met in order to be diagnosed, but three have to at least be met. (1) The person has developed a tolerance for the substance with extended use of the substance. (2) The person will show or feel all the mental, emotional and physiological changes that stop usage of the substance (3) The person uses the substance for extended periods of time in greater amounts than they originally started. (4) The person tried over and over again to decrease the usage of the substance or stop. (5)The person uses the majority of their time using and finding the substance and recovering from the effects. (6) The person is unable to work and...
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