- Many social workers, regardless of their area of social work, will interact with clients with an addiction. Three-fourths of the NASW’s social workers have worked with a client with an addiction or substance abuse (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008). Of all social workers, almost half will have clients with an addiction in their career (In class lecture).
- People with addictions have a bad reputation. Many people think the cause of having an addiction is due to not having enough will power or that it’s a conscious choice and that they can control when and if they stop. Social workers can also have this bias and this can affect their work. It’s important for social workers to know that there are other factors that lead to addictions so that they can give the best care possible to those with an addiction. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008)
- Addiction does not apply exclusively to drugs. When you think of an addiction, the first thought that comes to mind may be someone addicted to alcohol or drugs such as marijuana or heroine. People can have an addiction to gambling, eating, or shopping and addictions such as these can be just as damaging to their lives. Social workers need to be prepared to treat these other addictions as seriously as they treat addiction to drugs. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008)
- Relapse. People with addictions often need to try more than once to get rid of their addiction. A social worker needs to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to help their clients with relapse prevention and to understand that relapse is part of the process. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008)
In Class Lecture (3/15/2016)
DiNitto, D., & McNeece, C. (2008). Social work: Issues and opportunities in a challenging profession (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.