Social work is all about caring and committed people who set aside time to help people in stressful and needy situations. While social work and substance abuse is a major component of all the work social workers do, social workers are involved in many different types of work; their mission being to try and improve the lot of people in all sorts of difficult circumstances and to work towards restoring hope and well-being. Social workers want to help people who are unemployed to develop skills so that they can use their own resources to get work or to resolve some of their own problems. The bottom line of social work is human rights, and to this end, social workers work in a variety of settings; some of which are schools, correctional institutions, family services, children’s homes, hospitals and clinics, amongst others. There are also many social workers who work in private practice
Drug Abuse Linked To Many Other Atrocities
Social workers play a large role in assisting those with drug problems and they meet their clients in a variety of social work settings because substance abuse is often linked to things like theft, child abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency as well as domestic violence. Social workers trained in substance abuse practice in clinics as well as inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. Instead of focusing on the individual client’s addiction, social workers see the client in relation to the family as well as the community, taking into account cultural attitudes as well.
Stress A Leading Factor Of Drug Abuse
Stress is one of the first causes of drug and alcohol use. Stress reduces the levels of serotonin in the brain, which often leads to depression. People turn to drugs and alcohol to calm the nervous system, but over time the body adapts to the drug and more is needed to achieve peace. The social worker will arrange stress management for clients, and meditation is a way to relax the body and mind. Social workers also teach their clients simple breathing techniques. They also have groups for stress reduction and management and members in the group are able to share their experiences with each other. The social worker will also refer clients to community resources like Alcoholics Anonymous for instance.
Social Workers Need To Be Highly Trained
Because of the demanding nature of the work, substance abuse social workers need to complete specific educational classes, and there are colleges and universities which offer special programs designed to train students in the field of drug addiction along with counseling. Social workers will need to check out their particular state’s licensing and certification requirements.
Working with people involved with substance abuse is certainly not child’s play and only highly skilled and trained social workers will be equipped to handle and take on such cases. Social workers will assess each individual they are dealing with and treat them for substance abuse problems, which includes abuse of alcohol as well as other drugs. Treatment techniques may include individual and group therapy, case management, crisis intervention and education. With their range of skills which include things like social perceptiveness, monitoring, active listening, time management, complex problem solving and speaking, they require a Bachelor of Social Work.
The profession of social work is legislated and regulated and social workers are not merely people with a compassion to help people in distress; they are highly trained and educated, and this training includes a mixture of theoretical courses and practical training. A Bachelor of Social Work is the minimum educational requirement for entry into the profession, but many social workers go on to go post-graduate education which leads to a master’s or doctoral degree. A four-year undergraduate program is required for a bachelor’s degree. Training will include things like social policy, sociology, psychology and philosophy.
Classes for social workers in drug abuse will vary from college to college but classes in counseling and addiction are always the basic education. Chemical dependency classes along with recovery are also part of the training. Advanced social work and substance abuse classes such as the legal issues surrounding drug abuse as well as family dynamics and intervention classes are just some of the studies that social workers may want to specialize in.
Reach Out For Help
It is true that some people are able to use recreational or prescription drugs without ever becoming addicted. For others, it is another story; it varies with everyone. Some people have a family history of addiction, others may have been abused as children and are looking for an escape from the terrible memories while other suffer from mental disorders like depression and they are looking for relief. Each drug produces different physical effects, but with continued use, the drugs can alter the way the brain functions.
Taking a recreational drug causes a surge in levels of dopamine in your brain, and this tremendously pleasurable feeling is something that people want to experience over and over again. With more use, uncontrollable cravings start to develop and very few addicts recognize when they have crossed the line of not being able to stop. Mood swings, nausea, changes in sleep patterns, slurred speech, blackouts, shivering or tremors, change in appetite, fear, lethargic to hyperactivity, depression and paranoia are some of side effects that will start to manifest. If you need help with drug abuse there is help and support, and Narcotics Anonymous can always be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.
Move Away From The Old Crowd
With social work and substance abuse, the social worker realizes that moving away from the old lifestyle is important if recovery is to be successful. They are aware that drug cravings are powerful and the urge to succumb to them can be overwhelming. The body and the brain will need to recover and they try and educate the drug addict they are working with to make an effort to avoid places and people as well as situations that can trigger the urge to use the drugs all over again.
They encourage their clients to break from their old drug crowd and to rather hang out with people who are encouraging and supportive of a life free of drugs. Clients are encouraged to avoid environments and situations that are associated with and linked to drug use.
social workers urge their clients to use caution with prescription drugs. Drugs with a high abuse potential include painkillers, stress medication as well as sleeping pills.
Social Workers Make Provision For Drug Addicts
Working with those involved with substance abuse, the social worker sometimes has to try and look for temporary shelter and food for those who have lost everything because of the addiction. The field and scope of their work has broadened, and they no longer deal with people who abuse alcohol, they see individuals and families taking the full spectrum of drugs. Varied treatment approaches have evolved to handle alcohol and other substance abuse disorders which go hand in hand with behavioral and physical illnesses and disorders.
Informing The Community About The Misuse Of Drugs
More than ever, social workers are having to deal with the horrors of substance abuse which does not only affect the abuser, but the abuser’s entire family as well. Part of the key to dealing with abuse is having access to the right information, and social workers play a role in visiting schools and universities, presenting talks and distributing brochures on the horrors of becoming involved in substance abuse.
They know that people need information to recognize and understand drug addiction. Social workers then need to work with all age groups affected by substance abuse. Social work and substance abuse is becoming a huge factor with many people becoming affected after they were prescribed certain medications for a particular illness. Nobody deliberately considers going into drug addiction, and many young people want to be part of the crowd, they take an illegal drug for the thrill and to be more acceptable to the crowd, and the problem starts. The reality is that most people just don’t believe they will become addicted.
Social Work and Substance Abuse requires the social worker to do a few things; some of which will be:
- to counsel the drug addict in groups or one-on-one
- they collaborate with other medical professionals like doctors and psychiatrists to evaluate the mental state of the client
- the social worker will evaluate and monitor the progress of their client and refer them to rehab or some community resources for treatment
- the social worker will assist family members and provide counseling and support
- they conduct programs to prevent substance abuse in the community in order to combat social problems
Common drugs that are abused amongst teens include addictive prescription substances, alcohol, marijuana, club drugs, ecstasy, inhalants, heroin and cocaine. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug today and it is far more potent today than it was in the 1960’s and 70’s. The terrible thing is that children are abusing drugs and trying pot at an every younger age, and by the time they are teenagers they are looking for more powerful substances.
Recovery From Drugs Within Everybody’s Reach
When you’re struggling with drug addiction, withdrawing from the drug can seem an impossible goal, but recovery is within reach with the right treatment and support. There is no magic solution but drug addiction treatments are customized to your unique situation. Treatment includes looking at more than just your drug abuse, and social workers realize that the whole family is affected. They try and help the drug addict develop a new way of living and ways to manage the overwhelming stress linked to the situation that drug addicts often find themselves in.
There are amazing facilities for recovering addicts all around the world where they can get assistance. Social workers are well aware that that substance abuse is not entirely a personal problem but it also affects your family as well as members of the community. It is for this reason that these facilities also offer community outreach programs which are designed around providing assistance to the addicted person and providing information to the community, which can play a valuable part in reducing the substance abuse problem drastically. Social workers try their best to select programs in rehab centers that are in close proximity to the addicts family and community.
Social workers provide services either as part of a team or on a one-to-one basis with the client. The duties performed by social workers vary depending on the settings in which they work. Most social workers work full-time spending a lot of time with clients in their offices or in the client’s home. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the work they are doing, they will spend time in consultation with other professionals such as psychologists, lawyers or physicians.
Recent studies suggest that binge drinking and drug abuse is on the increase, with many people, young and old indulging in binge drinking as well as abusing prescription medicines and illegal drugs, and many medical professionals are called upon to treat people who use drugs and alcohol to relieve stress and improve the mood. There can be do denying that the drug abuse treatment field is rewarding, and that is why so many social workers look to make it a career choice. Social work and substance abuse is a career choice for many people who are determined to help people discover new ways of thinking and doing things toward a better lifestyle.
Millions of people around the world require treatment for drugs and alcohol each year and there is a demand for compassionate and caring social workers looking to make a difference in the lives of people who turn to drugs to escape the terrible situation they find themselves in. Today there is hardly a person that has not been linked to someone affected by an addiction to drugs at some point in their lives, and social workers are faced with the challenges of serving the needs of a growing population who are dependent on drugs. Social workers have a massive job on their hands promoting awareness of recovery from substance abuse and they will play a key role in the future assisting with the recovery process of those battling with substance abuse.