Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse



Substance Abuse

1. Describe the risk factors related to substance abuse

There are many risk factors related to substance abuse. These factors increase a person’s chances of substance abuse. However, this does not mean that they affect people in the same way. In addition, risk factors are specific and are not generalized across populations. The risk factors can be placed in different categories including cognitive and attitudinal, personality and psychopathology, biologic, and behavioral, social, and environmental (Lowinson, 2005). Cognitive factors include lack of knowledge concerning the negative effects of substance abuse and less negative attitudes concerning substance use. Personality factors include low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and low social confidence. This category also includes early disruptive behavioral problems, aggressiveness, and challenges with interpersonal relatedness. There are several behavioral, social, and environmental factors. They include social influences, antisocial behaviors, poor performance in academics, and family influences, which include parental use of substances, relationship between parents and children, and tolerant attitude of substance use by parents (Lowinson, 2005).

2. Identify barriers to care related to individuals who experience substance abuse

People who experience substance abuse need care, which is often offered by a variety of treatment programs. The type of program received depends on a person’s financial status. Wealthy individuals can afford better and more effective treatments. A person’s socioeconomic status can determine the type and level of care received. Homelessness, lack of employment, and lack of health insurance are some of the factors under financial barriers to care. Another barrier to care concerns the availability of programs in areas of need. Regional and cultural barriers include ethnic and language limitations. People can face difficulties trying to access treatment programs because of their ethnic and language differences. A person’s immigration status may determine whether he or she seeks any care. Illegal immigrants are less likely to seek any help for their problems. Other barriers to care include transportation to and from the treatment centers as well as lack of childcare support for individuals (Liu, 2013).

3. Discuss the recovery model as it applies to individuals who experience substance abuse specifically:

  1. Alcoholism and drug abuse services across the lifespan

The recovery model helps individuals suffering from alcohol and substance abuse to lead rich and meaningful lives. It does not dictate to the users the treatment options to consider but it empowers them to make decisions. The model gives people the choice to choose and direct their treatment. It considers the users strengths and preferences as well as their cultural background and experiences (Gehart, 2009).

  1. Availability of crisis intervention programs across the lifespan

The model avoids the use of step-by-step approaches to treatment. Instead, it recognizes that treatment is an ongoing process that includes periods of growth and progress as well as setbacks. As such, it recognizes the importance of ensuring that a person has access to intervention programs throughout. The programs equip individuals suffering from substance abuse with the tools they need to overcome a problem at specific times. They focus on various areas of a person’s life including physical, behavioral, and emotional (Gehart, 2009).

  1. Support services for family, friends, and significant others

The recovery model is holistic and it considers different aspects of an individual including the body, mind, spirit, and community (Gehart, 2009). The community is inclusive of the individual’s family and friends. Substance abuse not only affects the individual, but it has significant direct and indirect effects on a persons relations. It can affect the quality of relationships that a person has with other people in his life. The recovery model recognizes the importance of providing helpful services to the friends and family of the individual. This will equip then with the knowledge they need to help the individuals suffering from substance abuse as well as learn how to cope with the situation.


Gehart, D. (2009). Mastering competencies in family therapy: A practical approach to theory and clinical case documentation. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

Liu, M. W. (2013). The oxford handbook of social class in counseling. New York, NY: OUP USA

Lowinson, H. J. (2005). Substance abuse: A comprehensive textbook. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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