Integrating Addictive Treatment with Twelve-Step Programs

There is a wide spectrum of opinion about the effectiveness of twelve-step groups, with both avid adherents and detractors. One positive factor is that these groups are free and are therefore available to many individuals that would otherwise have little or no option to address their addictions. But being peer-led can be both positive and negative, at turns empowering participants or potentially harming them if peer leaders impose their own pathology on the group. The same can be said of sponsors, who can be a source of tremendous support or can misuse their power over their sponsees. Many individuals believe that it is fundamentally disempowering to accept that one is powerless where a drug or behavior is concerned, but adherents believe that this powerlessness has already been made evident by the addictive behaviors.
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Show an awareness of the impact of treatment on clients from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the twelve-step movement.
3. Demonstrate an ability to identify support groups in the community.
4. Review current literature references that support the selection of appropriate treatment methodology.
Learning Activities Studies
Complete the following:
o From your Substance Abuse Counseling text, read pages 204–215 and 222.
o Read White’s 2010 article, “The Future of AA, NA, and Other Recovery Mutual Aid Organizations,” originally printed in Counselor, volume 11, issue 2, pages 10–19.
o Visit the following Web sites to explore their twelve-step programs. These programs are mentioned often in your readings because they have significantly contributed to addiction treatment. While reading, pay particular attention to the twelve steps and traditions. In addition, find one other non-twelve step support group to incorporate into the discussion.
 Alcoholics Anonymous.
 Narcotics Anonymous.
o Take time to thoroughly review the following Web sites. You should use this information to incorporate into upcoming discussions and assignments:
 Al-Anon Family Groups.
 Moderation Management.
 Smart Recovery.
 Hazelden.
 Women for Sobriety
Discussion 1: 1 page needed with 2 references published within the last three years.
Positive and Negative Aspects of Twelve-Step Groups
It is much more important to write clearly and concisely rather than lengthily. Remember that the requirement for each discussion is that you write approximately 250 words. Each discussion post should include a minimum of two citations and two references.
For this discussion, summarize the arguments in the literature for and against twelve-step groups. Would you refer clients to twelve-step groups? Explain your reasoning.


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