Discuss models and theories for working with selected AOD target groups. Your answers should be presented in total approximately 1000 words.
Part A – Models
You will need to select one of the six models of AOD use to answer the questions below. They are: public health, moral, disease, psychodynamic, psychosocial, and socio-political.
1. Briefly outline one model of AOD use and describe how each model explains AOD misuse.
Drug and alcohol abuse is clearly linked to socio-political contexts. In framing the disease within the socio-political model, one must first understand the premise that our social behaviors are formed from a framework of our exposure in life to different people, things, and environments, and that these exposures help us to create our own set of values.
Social situations are a significant issue in the use and misuse of alcohol and other drugs. Feelings of alienation, disadvantage, exclusion, prejudice, stereotyping and labeling all lead to feelings to inadequacy and are often precursors to using alcohol and or drugs. Understanding the concept of values is paramount in beginning to comprehend the aforementioned feelings. As stated by Dr. Marianne Jauncey, “values are what we believe to be important”, and these values are formed by our environments, and by the people with whom we surround ourselves. As human beings, we gauge right and wrong based on our own individual sets of values, and likewise we chose our behaviors and actions based on our set of values.
It is not unheard of to have individuals differ in their opinions about punishment for something that goes against one’s value set. For example, there are those who support harsh punishment by the law and others who prefer more modified punishment. The preference and beliefs of these individuals is often the product of the individual’s upbringing, education, as well as such factors as race and gender.
Our value system as a society often times proves biased against particular social groups. For example, prisoners are typically thought of and perceived as dangerous or not worth the effort of rehabilitation. Often these perceptions are based on incorrect data or not grounded in any truth at all. These perceptions of prisoners (or of any other minority group) lead to labels and stereotyping. Labels and stereotyping are detrimental and often times debilitating to the individual. Once the labeling has occurred, many things that the general public takes for granted in terms of access (housing, medical attention, education) often becomes terribly burdensome to obtain if not all together, inaccessible. For example, the likelihood that an apartment owner would rent an available apartment to a prisoner as opposed to someone without a previous legal history is unlikely. In society, people are aware of the stereotypes and tend to act accordingly.
For a prisoner or ex prisoner, the social contexts of drug use often causes a greater reliance on drugs. The stereotyping and labeling of this particular group of individuals often leads to feelings of inadequacy and inability thereby leading the individual to reach for more drugs or alcohol.
2. Discuss various treatments options that can form part of your chosen model.
The worker within the alcohol and drug sector must be sure that the individual with whom they are working takes into account equity and equality. This includes eliminating any bias of service as a result of gender, race, ethnicity, or any other ability or inability. It is critical that the worker takes into account his or her own biases and foundation of understanding of these particular “groups” prior to providing service. It also must be done in a detailed and intentional manner and not nonchalantly, as this is a critical piece to fair and equitable service delivery. There are a number of considerations that the individual worker must take into account.
First, it is extremely important the treatment delivered by the worker is precluded by a close examination on the part of the worker into any biases that he/she comes to work with, in particular in dealing with this particular clientele. The provision of resources to the client is critical regardless of who the client is and from which group they come from. Additionally, often times the individual suffers as a result of inadequate services or disadvantages within society. They will frequently end up believing the stigmas society holds to their particular group and as a result believe that they deserve “less”. Therefore it is important that all treatment takes into account the effected esteem of the individual.
Part B – Theories
1. Choose and give an outline of one of the above theories.
I. Brief Intervention Theory: Counseling sessions (2-4)
A. Designed for people with issues pertaining to drugs and alcohol, for example prisoners, ex prisoners
B. Purpose is to create an opportunity for person to talk about drug use
1. Support the person in recognizing impact of drugs on their relationships, lifestyle
2. Recognize that speaking about drug and alcohol abuse often results in feelings of shame and inadequacy on the part of the user. Patience is critical and an understanding of how much is involved in simply having the individual seated and discussing this issue.
C. Designed as quick and short lived set of interventions aimed at targeting particular groups (i.e. prisoners, ex prisoners, adolescents) which focuses on the ramifications of the drug and alcohol use and addiction. Very specific details are given to overload the individual with information that allows for a concrete understanding pertaining to the implications and ramifications of drug use and alcohol abuse.
Discuss how this one theory is used in AOD practice.
The ways in which brief intervention theory is used with prisoners with drug and alcohol addiction include a series of short and few meetings that aim to remind the individual of the tremendous risks and ramifications of engagement with drugs and alcohol. These sessions are often held relatively close together and are clearly directed by providing the individual with information about their addiction and the affects of such addiction on different aspects of their bodies and lives. For example, a session may focus on the implications of drug use on the mental capacity of the individual and may then veer into the bodily domain and talk about the effects of the addiction on the heart, on liver function, and on the general well being of the individual. By providing a lot of information to the user, the goal is that he or she will have a different toolbox and set of knowledge prior to ingesting the drugs or alcohol in the future. Individuals are supported and encouraged to make self-changes based on a series of detailed information about the risks involved and associated with such addiction.