Sunday, October 25, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The videos I thought were very interesting and informative. Dr. Carl Hart video (Alcohol: A Women's Health Issue) was informative, because I learned that women are more pron to alcoholism than men and face more issues, such as breast cancer, hepatitis,though I disagree with the notion that alcoholism is a disease I do agree with someone getting help and if calling it a disease helps someone admit they have a problem with alcoholic, then I don't think it could do any more harm than allowing them to continue abusing the substances. I also do not agree with genetics being a factor for some one becoming an alcoholic. I think that its the up bring and surroundings that influences a child to drink ,and then continuous drinking is transforms into drinking habits which leads to alcohol abuse. Like the woman in the video said she had a lot of curiosity from seeing her family drink as well as pressure from her peers, just like the woman in the video says genetics is not your destiny. I disagree with the statement from the video that said, "there is no shame in being an alcoholic." I think it should be, I see no shame in being a recovering alcoholic, and Americans should make being an alcoholic shameful in some positive way. I think we as Americans want to find the the quick fix, so we give explanations for our mistakes and failures in life, and instead of working on the problems we want to diagnose and prescribe drugs. I' not saying that diagnosis and drugs are bad, I'm saying that we need to take responsibility for some of our problems.
The video states that alcohol kills more teenagers that all the illicit drugs put together, and yet getting alcohol is easier than taking the drugs off the streets. I heard some one say that if a child says they are going to be like their parents, or family members, who abused drugs and alcohol, their setting themselves up for failure, if the don't find someone positive to look up to.
Which brings me to the video on Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of The National Institute on Drug Abuse. I think that this woman really made the students feel like they have a voice in this video. One male student near the beginning of the video says, "They say, 'just say no', but they don't really care what I have to say." I know from experience, coming in drug infested projects and schools, sometimes its hard to believe that some one cares about what you say or do. For someone like Nora to take time to come and speak to a group of inner city students is a blessing indeed; they must have felt special. I think the approach of coordinating the students ideas into solving the problems students face when dealing with drugs is excellent. I thought that her explanation on why students who do marijuana on a regular basis do so poorly in school was simple and to the point. She said, that marijuana targets Cannabinoid receptors(modulating the pleasure center of the brain) and cannabinoids receptors are also located in the memory sensors of the brain; which allows you to learn,and can be completely taken over by marijuana. I guess I can start giving up on the reasons to legalize marijuana, because after taking these classes and learning that there are so many side effects to using it, I would not want my children to be able to use it. If I knew half of what I know now. I would not have used marijuana.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
As an example, I remember one role play where our professor pretended she was a client who had many years of experience but relapsed. I was stunned. There was no assessment that I knew of for this client and our teacher just gave us one off the cuff. Here it is. What is your purpose of meeting with us? What's not working this time? Is thee anything in your past that may be comming up? What about relationships, or lack of them? What about depression? And I love this line, "I don't have the time we need to get to know you. Could we meet again? Here the teacher projects as sense of almost intimate caring. When she talked I would think, "Could I come?" Now that is what I am here for.
I really want to learn how to be a supportive person who builds trust early on in the relationship and can maintain it, always giving the client something to take with them as they gain self-efficacy and the quality of life of their choosing.
I enjoyed to hear everyone insight, learn new strategies and techniques, play role situations and most of essential to learn from each other.
With great appreciation for being in this class, I wish everyone all the best on the road of professional adventures of helping other people. We can make a difference.
"Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted". - Winston Churchill
This Substance Abuse Assessment class was a fast, but great learning experience for me. I enjoyed all the classes that I participated in, writing in the BLOG, and everybody’s input throughout the class. I learned the different techniques about doing an actual assessment, and the different tools that can be used. I also learned that listening is the best tool you can use when working with any client. I learned how the diagnosis of substance abuse is decided in a treatment setting and how to be prepared for it.
I am not a counselor yet, but some day I will be, and this class has taught me how to make it easier. I am excited to have learned all these great techniques and tools to help me as I move towards my degree. I will practice with pretend clients using the different strategies of assessing clients. I understand that if I don’t do it consistently, I will lose the skills that I just learned. And, I do not want that to happen.
Lara is a great instructor, and I am so honored to have her help me to move on to achieve my educational goal. I wish all the instructors/professors were as courteous and supportive like Lara. Thank you Lara and I look forward to working with you again in the near future.
I have become more familiar with the terminology used in substance abuse treatment.
Before this class I didnt realize that the primary care provider is the best person to do an early intervention, it makes sense I just never thought of that. I always assumed the family would be the begining.
I will contiue to build on the skills I have learned in this class while at work and in my journey as a student.
The handouts are great and I will use them while working with individuals with substance abuse as their primary disability in vocational rehabilitation.
This was a wonderful class, I wish it was longer and we could learn more skills to early interventions and perhaps prevention.
I look forward to having others in future classes.
Another very useful TIP, which even requires us "counselors" to be a part of our clients changes.
Many treatment programs provide information to families, communities, and substance abusers. I would guess their primary goal would be to help families, communities, and substance abusers understand their situations. In many cases family members who have relatives or friends who become substance abusers do not know or understand that they are not alone when dealing with a family member or friend who has become a substance abuser. I know that in my community drugs and alcohol are as a part of everyday life, as waking up in the morning. In every corner of the city there is a liquor store and drugs are easily available. As mentioned in the article,"... about 5 million users of illicit drugs and 18 million people with alcohol use problems need treatment, but only one fourth of them receive it." these are staggering numbers; inwhich, many of the programs to help combat these problems are under budget.
I don't understand why something that seems to work does not have the support or funding it needs to help save our youth. Are we willing to let something drastic occur before we make the right decisions? Are we really going to allow cost to be the deciding factor for us to take control of our future? Another portion of the article that really catches my attention is that 1 in 20 high school seniors use marijuana daily, maybe this is what happened to the kid in Chicago who was beaten to death by a group of his peers. We have to ask ourselves, when does it matter? Do we wait until it hits home? And trust me it will happen if we don' t do something now. How is it that we can contribute millions of dollars to campaigns and wars, but when it comes to our youth, citizens, and country we feel that we are wasting money. I think that we are enabling our nation to become substance abusers, by allowing ourselves to think that there is a drug for every little ache and pain. I think that many companies are just out to get money at the expense of any and everyone, and we can't trust the government or city officials to speak up for us, because they too are in the pockets of these big industries whose sole purpose is to direct advertisements toward our youth.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
As daily life continuously relies on changes in human services, technological, economical, social, political and other areas, it is important follow and implement improvements and new approaches especially in fields of substance abuse and mental health, where TIP 35 is playing significant role. Overall progress in therapeutical relationships comes with improvements and is inevitable when changes take place.
Monday, October 5, 2009
It took a lot of reading to get any inspiration to write a blog on tip 35 even though the topic peaked my interest. Finally I came to a part that inspired me and was a match for my own philosophy. It stated that today’s treatment included a broad range of action. In other words it is holistic. A new age term but so appropriate. We are now considering a person’s health, employment, reduction in criminal activity, and more than anything we are considering if it is improving a person’s life. Is there more joy, hope, intimacy, and self-worth through productive action. I like to ask myself if I am doing anything that I would like to write home about.
Here the attention is not so much on the drug but on life. I was recently talking to a friend who has liver failure and is living in a convalescent home. I said it sucks getting old doesn’t it. And she said, “I’m not concerned about getting old. I’m concerned about living. When I feel depression coming on I know that it will disappear if I get into action. Even doing the dishes works. Indeed there are AA meetings that I have gone to that made me want to head to the bar. Even in AA meetings they say to talk about how it was, what we did to change, and how it is now. And then they suggest that most of the conversation is on how it is now. That would be the living part.
I was also interested in the statement, “motivation was viewed as a static trait or disposition…Furthermore, motivation was often viewed as the client’s responsibility, not the clinician’s. This caught me off guard because I had no idea why it would be the clinician’s responsibility. And here they went into the counselor’s style as being the most often ignored but the most important. This gave me hope that I may succeed in this field as the style entails the ability to develop a trust with a helping alliance. They also named nonpossessive warmth, friendliness, genuineness, respect, affirmation, and empathy. This certainly sounds like the kind of person I would aspire to be.
In my presentation that I was going to give in class today, I was going to talk about an involuntary client, and I was going to quote from TIP 35 about how client motivation is influenced by the counselor’s style. The way the counselor relates to the client has a powerful effect on how they react to treatment and whether they achieve the intended results. I noted that “establishing a helping alliance and good interpersonal skills” were found to be “more important than professional training or experience.” It is interesting because I know someone who just did an alcohol assessment (involuntarily) and I casually interviewed him about it on the phone (because I’m taking the class) and while it can certainly be said that he is in denial about his problem, he was not persuaded in the least to become more contemplative by the way his assessor spoke to him. Apparently she did not make any effort to establish a rapport and came across in a very demanding and demeaning manner. TIP 35 says:
“A direct comparison of counselor styles suggested that a confrontational and directive approach may precipitate more immediate client resistance and, ultimately, poorer outcomes than a client-centered, supportive, and empathic style that uses reflective listening and gentle persuasion (Miller et al., 1993).”
I also read about this Johnston Intervention. It is a scenario in which friends and family rehearse what they are going to say to the client about how the substance abuse is affecting them and then, with some element of surprise all of these people confront the client in the counselor’s presence. Apparently is has been revised into a fairly successful way to get uninterested clients to come around to the idea that they need some help.
Some of the writing was repetitive and like I said, I haven't even read much of this yet, but I am happy to be introduced to this material. Thank you
The motivation is directed toward the best interest of the client.
The idea that the clients best interest is at heart hopefully with spark motivation in the client who will be compliant with the reccommendations of the treatment plan.
Tip 35 explains how the counselor and staff can have a part of the plan and influence the client to change by building a rapport with the client. This will help the client trust the counselor and let them be a partner in their recovery process.
This TIP also describes different motivational techniques that can be used in all stages of change.
This TIP would be great for motivating involuntary clients who may not want to change and it states that motivation for change is the key to addressing substance abuse.
I believe this is an excellent TIP. The client needs to be "motivated" and want to change thier behavior in order for any treatment to work.
The different views on treatment are great because if something doesnt work, look at it from a different prespective and maybe the new techniques will work.