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    Repot on Substance Abuse (1584 words)

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    When assisting those who need help and support from others, one must be able to present the specific needs that the person desires in order to feel as if they were normal. In many cases, these people have to go through many levels in their lives that alter the way that they get assisted in life and how they handle themselves, by themselves. In most cases, these people are only kids, who were unfortunate in life and got placed in a household that is driven by addiction and distrust. These kids, rarely get offered help, and when they finally do, their needs aren’t met by people that they now need to place their lives, emotions, hearts, and trust in. These social issues such as the increase of substance abuse in households aren’t being brought up in real life but only subjected to an idea that some people have to face. Yet in reality, the people that can help such as social workers, aren’t being provided the sufficient training to help these children drift from facing substance abuse disorders or SUD’s, and instead only mark them down as troubled and aim to help the substance abuse patients.

    In this day and age, social workers are not offered the appropriate training needed to deal with kids who face substance abuse through their families and do not provide the sufficient effort to effectively help both the patient and the people around them, such as their kids. Risen Addiction Today in the United States there are about seven and a half million children that have at least one parent that suffers through a form of substance abuse disorder (Contractor, et al., 2012). Yet in a case study that was conducted in 2002 by SAMHSA reported that 22 million people over the age of 12 dealt with substance abuse but only 3 million actually received the help that they needed (Smith, Whitaker, & Weismiller, 2006/18). This lack of help not only supports the increase in substance abuse disorders nationally but it also increases the risk that the kids within these SUD families will develop a serious emotional disorder. Ineffective Help These children in many cases, due to their harmful living situations tend to be offered help in both ineffective and effective ways in order to help them escape the maltreatment.

    These children tend to be taken away from there home and placed with Child Protective Services and then allocated to a foster home. Although the relocation of these kids from their former homes to new ones could possibly provide them with more stability and happiness it isn’t always the only thing that should be looked at. Many of these kids were moved due to an emotional crisis that they were made to face throughout their lives, but this part is usually ignored or forgotten. The relocation of these kids is a major part of receiving governmental help, but one thing that the social worker’s placed on the cases tend to avoid is the permanent emotional stability that they lived through, which is the most important factor to help a child in need.

    These kids receive a new home but don’t receive the emotional support of a psychologist, or therapist to promote their emotional health and reduce the risks of developing substance abuse disorders. If not helped these emotional disorders tend to be a barrier for these kids, as they lack emotional intelligence, stability, growth, and tend to be seen as troubled (Akin, A, H, & Lloyd, 2015, as cited in Kerker & Dore, 2006).In reality, more than 80 percent of the kids that are allocated to foster care home due to SUD in their homes face a form of mental health challenge (Akin, A, H, & Lloyd, 2015). Substance Abuse Training When the 2002 case study was conducted by the SAMHSA there was a reported 477,000 social workers, employed that year, but only 95,000 majored in the substance abuse and health field (Smith, Whitaker, & Weismiller, 2006/18). Yet out of these 95,000 only 71 percent of them reported that they had taken a form of substance abuse training which allowed them to diagnose the abuse in the last 12 months, another 53 percent claimed that they hadn’t been offered any form of substance abuse training (Smith, Whitaker, & Weismiller, 2006/18). While on the other side of the study, the association sought to find the number of patients or cases that these social workers had actually filled as substance abuse cases in which they found that although 25 percent of them consisted of substance abuse forms only 2 percent were primarily based on the SUD rather than the secondary problems caused by the abuse (Smith, Whitaker, & Weismiller, 2006/18).

    This case study showed a prevalent number of cases that were reported as SUD”s but got defined differently due to the lack of training that these social workers on the cases had. This deprivation of training that these social workers had, in this case, led many cases to be seen as hardly crucial to the patient which resulted in less serious implications or no help towards the person seeking it. Yet during the case study, one particular thing found was that when providing educational or training history only 1 percent of the social workers that reported back had actually been certified in substance abuse out of the 95,000 (Smith, Whitaker, & Weismiller, 2006/18). There is no true knowledge that these patients received the help that they needed, or that their children received any form of emotional support due to the lack of support that even these professionals couldn’t offer their parents. The education training that these social workers are being provided with to provide successful treatment to both their patients with SUD’s and their children with emotional disorders isn’t working. These treatment courses and training instead of lowering the number of substance abuse cases a year, has led to the number of cases to stay constant and prominent. Due to the increasing correlation between the lack of training and support being offered many institutions have begun enforcing new methods in order to establish a more promising curriculum which involves the appropriate training for the social workers to provide emotional support, offer them a more varied opinion or knowledge on the cases, strengthen their beliefs, provide the appropriate interventions, and help develop their professional performance when working with cases that deal with identifying SUD symptoms in children of substance abuse patients (Wiechelt & Okundaye, 2012). A New Curriculum In institutions such as Kennesaw State University, new implements have been taken in order to create a new substance abuse curriculum within the masters of social work program. This new curriculum would offer the students an introduction to substance abuse curriculum.

    The program’s framework starts with basic training, that would help them relate or see the connection between the effects that families, groups, friends, and outside environments have on the patient suffering through substance abuse and how this can affect those around them. This part of the framework is built to help build up the trust between the person suffering and the social worker, in order to establish the triggers and the people that the patients surround themselves with. The second part of the program is based on the biopsychosocial view of human functioning. It allows the social worker to see the areas that bring the person’s life to seek the need for the addiction (Corrigan, Bill, & Slater, 2009). A method that this new curriculum tries to use in order to connect the social worker and patient by allowing the patient to see them as a mentor, and re-establish themselves in a stable environment at their own pace so that they don’t feel rushed or feel as if they weren’t receiving the treatments help (Corrigan, Bill, & Slater, 2009). Institutions such as Kennesaw State see the need for social workers to receive the education and personal one on one training that all curriculums offer but sadly they don’t.

    Kennesaw State has now implemented this curriculum and established a goal which is ‘to provide advanced social work preparation in the area of substance abuse in a diverse and rapidly growing area of Georgia,'(Corrigan, Bill, & Slater, 2009). Unfortunately, this next level training that is now found in this university in Georgia, and many more in the area isn’t being used by every university that offers a social work program and is only limited to receive this particular training through the master’s program. Discussion Substance abuse, along with many critical social issues that are reliable to affect one’s health, living, stability, and family need to be treated seriously, not ignored. In the United States, social workers are one of the first responders to deal with these social issues and growing crisis, but they aren’t being given the efficient training to provide their clients and family that help that they deserve.

    Social workers, in reality, can only provide with what they are given, but shouldn’t discard cases as problematic, or mentally unstable because they don’t have the training to identify substance abuse and provide critical treatment to stabilize the patient. Social work programs should offer more year to year training that not only focuses on identifying SUD’s on adults but as well as kids even younger than 12 years old. In this case, it should also be sought to discuss if the specified substance abuse training could be moved from just being offered to the master’s program, and instead implement smaller but more efficient courses through the bachelors and masters programs being offered.

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