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Social Work with Substance Users
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Social Work with Substance Users

  • Anna Nelson - National Addiction Workforce Development Centre, New Zealand


October 2011 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book offers a new approach to help students to understand problematic substance use across a range of social work practice settings. Written from both an anti-discriminatory and evidence-based perspective, the book highlights successful responses to the issues. Each chapter includes reflective exercises and examples of further reading, challenging students to critically reflect on their practice.

The book provides a detailed understanding of:

" Historical and current policy relating to prohibition and drug use

" A range of substances and their potential effects on service users

" Models of best practice including screening and assessment, brief intervention, motivation approaches and relapse prevention

" Particular issues and needs of a diverse range of service user groups

This will be an essential text for social work students taking courses in substance use and addiction. It will also be valuable reading for qualified social workers and students taking related courses across the health and social care field.

 
PART ONE: HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT
 
A Social History of Problematic Substance Use
 
Anti-Discriminatory/Anti-Oppressive Practice and Partnership Working
 
Substances and Their Effects
 
PART TWO: DIVERSE POPULATIONS
 
Problematic Substance Use Across the Lifespan
 
Gender and Problematic Substance Use
 
Working with Criminal Justice Service Users Who Have Problematic Substance Use
 
Problematic Substance Use in Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Communities
 
Problematic Substance Use in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Communities
 
PART THREE: CONCEPTS AND MODELS FOR SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
 
Screening Assessments
 
Harm Reduction, Abstinence and 'Recovery'
 
Motivational Approaches
 
Relapse Prevention
 
Brief Interventions
 
PART FOUR: SOCIA WORK PRACTICE SETTINGS
 
Working with Problematic Substance Use in Disability Practice Settings
 
Dual Diagnosis: Working with Co-Existing Problems in Mental-Health Practice Settings
 
Parental Problematic Substance Use and Working with Families
 
Problematic Substance Use in HealthCare Settings Pain, HIV and HCV

Teaching on substance problems on social work courses has been patchy, to say the least, and it is heartening to see that a number of texts are coming on the market to support improvements with regard to this. 'Social Work with Substance Users' is a sound, basic introduction for undergraduates and social workers with no previous experience in this field.

Its strengths are:
- its accessible, easy to read style.
- factual accuracy.
- anti-oppressive practice as a theme throughout.
- strong practice chapters [e.g. motivational interviewing and relapse prevention].
- Consideration of various service user groups and social worker settings.

Limitations:
- Whilst theories as to why people develop problems are introduced at various points, a brief early chapter contrasting these would have been helpful.
- Smoking cessation might have been given greater prominence.
- More on the various uses of pharmacotherapy and on working with stimulant uses would have strengthened the book.
- The chapter on children affected by parental problems addresses the issues primarily from the perspective of child care workers. There are different but equally complex challenges for practitioners dealing with adults with problems who have children.

Tighter editing would have tidied up a few problems of sentence structure and repetition.

Despite some omissions, this is a sound and easy to read introductory text.

Mr George Allan
School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University
December 5, 2011
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Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


For instructors

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