The national policy in response to substance abuse has gone through several major phases during the past 100 years. Shifts in the perception of addiction have influenced the nature, extent, and types of treatment offered. Today, addiction is considered a chronic, recurring condition that is amenable to treatment. This unit examines trends in national policy that have shaped the current response to addiction and its treatment in the United States.
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Identify key policy issues that have historically shaped the response to treating substance abuse in the United States.
2. Describe the current system of substance abuse treatment in the United States.
3. Analyze the current U. S. policy strategy for treating substance abuse.
Use your Concepts of Chemical Dependency textbook, your coursepack, the library, and the Internet to complete the following:
• Read Chapter 29, “Treatment Settings,” pages 429–438. This chapter discusses outpatient and inpatient treatment programs.
• Read the McLellan, Carise, and Kleber article, “Can the National Addiction Treatment Infrastructure Support the Public’s Demand for Quality Care?”
• Read the Courtwright article, “A Century of American Narcotic Policy,” pages 1–62. These pages provide the history of narcotic policy in the United States.
• Read RAND Corporation’s 2012 article, “The Illicit Drug Landscape in the U.S. and Paths for Future Efforts.”
Visit and explore the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Policy Web page in preparation for this unit’s discussions.
• Optional – Readings
For additional insight, read the following articles from the Internet and the Capella library:
• The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report “National Survey on Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): Highlights.”
• The Society for the Study of Addiction to Alcohol and Other Drugs article “The Policy Implications: An Edited Version of Chapter 10 of Alcohol Policy and the Public Good,” from Addiction, volume 90, issue 2, pages 173–180.
Discussion 1: 1 page needed with minimum of 250 words and 2 references.
Caulkins, Reuter, Iguchi, and Chiesa’s issue paper, “Drug Use and Drug Policy Futures: Insights From a Colloquium.”
Courtwright’s article, “A Century of American Narcotic Policy.”
1. Based on your reading of Caulkins et al., Courtwright, and others, identify the two historic milestones that had the most significant effect on shaping the approach to substance abuse treatment in the United States.
2. Justify how and why you believe these events were so significant.
3. For more insight, refer to the Optional Articles section of the Course Materials.
Discussion 2: 1 page needed with minimum of 250 words and 2 references.
Follow these steps to participate in this discussion:
1. Based on your review of the ONDCP’s Policy Web page, conduct an analysis of the national strategy to treat drug abuse.
2. Specifically, assess the strengths and weaknesses of the goals set forth in the strategic plan.
3. If you have experience in the addictions setting, explain your experiences as related to the information. If you have no experience in an addictions setting, interview someone with some experience.
4. Answer the following questions:
Do you believe the plan is realistic?
Are the goals achievable?