The use of alcohols and drugs has been very prevalent among many people all over the world. In spite of the adverse effects, people have continued to engage in substance abuse all across the globe eventually leading into adverse social, economic, political, and cultural impacts. However, addiction does not only imply the continued drugs and alcohol but encompasses any continuous engagement of a person into a compulsive and irresistible activity that makes a person irresponsible by interfering with normal life of that particular individual. As a result, there has been the emergence of rehabilitation centers that aim at rectifying this social vice. Counselors, as well as psychologists, have taken it up themselves to help addicts cease from their abusive nature. For the purpose of this paper, alcohol addiction is taken as a case study and the paper discusses on the professional modality of addressing this social menace among addiction clients and the intervention criteria that are used in the diagnosis process.
While addressing the addiction cases, counselors as well as psychologists have to ensure that they carry out their duties based on the underlying standards that act as a guideline in safeguarding their professionalism, as well as the personal ethics, both for the professional and the client. It is the responsibility of the professional counselor or psychologist to ensure that the services provided to the client are the most beneficial. It is within the concerns of the professional counselor or psychologist to understand that he/she is expected to do good by upholding the well-being of his/her clients. It is also within the responsibility of the professional counselor to respect other peoples’ human rights and give room to clients to make self-determined decisions on the best interest of such clients. The professionals should ensure that they respect the decisions of their clients as long as those decisions do not contradict the professional standards of the psychologist or counselor. There should be a strong dual relationship between the counselor and the client, and it is the role of the professionals, as the lead, to ensure that such strong relationships are maintained within the required professional standards. It is also the responsibility of the psychologist or counselor to understand that all decisions and actions have effects that can either be a benefit or harm and as such it is within their the professional standards of the counselors to ensure that such the adopted action is to the benefit rather than harm (Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2011).
The initial interviews will involve meeting with a client for both engagement and assessment of the client in order to determine the underlying problem. The counselor or psychologist will try as much as possible to get an in-depth picture of the of the client’ s underlying challenges. It will involve looking onto the past experiences of the client, the current circumstances that the client could be going through, as well as the future expectations of the client. In this initial interview, the counselor will employ the use either standardized assessment or the assessment interview. The former will involve the use of standardized tools in order to collect reliable, and valid data, and the tools may include questionnaires that are considered valid and reliable. On the other hand, the later will involve both the counselor and the client coming together and forming a relationship and reflecting on the client’s life experiences as well as focusing on the current life of the client. The main aim during the initial interview is to build a therapeutic relationship that is non-judgmental in nature, and that is based on trust and empathy.
The structure of the assessment and application processes will involve several stages. The referral of the client has to be noted, and a thorough exploration of the presented issues regarding the client should also be reflected up. It is always worthy understanding the underlying problems that may have pressed the client to search for a professional intervention and such problems could either be; health, social, psychological among others. It is the responsibility of the psychologist or counselor to assess various factors in relation to the client which may include the variety of drugs abused by the client, the frequency of abuse, the reasons behind the use of the drugs, and the levels the risk factors. Roisen’s model has been widely used and has been considered useful in the assessment of drug-related problems. Through the assessment process, the counselor will use his/her knowledge in order to assess the client’s positive as well as negative take towards the abuse of the alcohol. This will be achieved through the use of motivational interview. The main aim behind motivational interview will focus on the assessment of the client’s readiness to change (Resnicow & McMaster, 2012).
The diagnostic and statistical mental disorder is highly used by different professionals in order to assess the levels of mental disorders that their clients would be suffering from. The criterion has been developed in order to use while assessing all patients across the board who include both inpatient and outpatient. It will be used in both private as well as public professional practitioners. It implies that counselors, as well as psychologists, will be able to use DSM-IV-TR consideration and criteria in the assessment of the levels and degree that the alcohol addict could be suffering from. People under addiction have a tendency of developing depression and euphoric conditions leading to diagnosable mood disorder. The criteria will thus be very crucial in assessing and determining the levels of such mental disorders among the clients. This will thereby help the professional psychologist or counselor in implementing the best and appropriate strategies in order to fully address the psychological disorder of the client. DSM-IV-TR is not a set of rigid rules but rather provides a set of guidelines in addressing the mental mood disorder (Fauman, 2014).
In order to determine as to whether the main attributes of alcoholic abuse are existent in the addicted client, the counselor will have to undertake screening. This will enable the psychologist will determine as to whether the problems associated with drug abuse are present in the patient. In addition, assessment will be carried out in order to comprehensively assess the existence or nonexistence of a diagnosable drug abuse difficulty. This will help the counselor or psychology to determine the most suitable treatment that should be adopted when the drug problems are found to be present. The application of the two strategies is also very important in the identification of any underlying problems of addicts both in the early stages of abuse or the advanced stages by establishing the abuse history in order to come up with the most appropriate intervention strategies. It implies that the processes of screening and assessment are twofold in the sense that they will help in the identification of the problems as well as coming up with the intervention strategies of addressing the addiction problem (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration Advisory, 2011).
Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Callanan, P. (2011). Issues and ethics in the helping professions. Belmont, Calif: Brooks/Cole.
Fauman, M. A. (2002). Study guide to DSM-IV-TR. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub.
Resnicow, K., & McMaster, F. (2014). Motivational interviewing: moving from why to how with autonomy support. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9(19): 9-19.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration Advisory. (2011). Clients with substance use and eating disorders. Department of Health and Human Services. USA, 10(1): 1-12.