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Social Workers and Historical Knowledge of Addictions

The historical perspective of addiction is often not considered when providing treatment. For this discussion:
- Briefly provide a historical overview of the way addiction has been approached in the past.
- How do you think a therapist might best use this historical perspective to serve the needs of clients presenting with addictive and compulsive behavior?
- What do you see as a key factor or reason to impart such knowledge of history?

Solution Preview

This discussion will examine addiction issues, beginning with a historical account of this topic, and then working towards a social worker's therapeutic relationship with a client living with addiction. We are asked to consider the following:

How might a therapist incorporate a historical knowledge of addiction into their practice?

Will a social worker possessing this historical framework be able to assist their client with addictive and compulsive behaviors?

What are the key reasons for imparting this historical knowledge, if any?

I believe there is merit in breaking down questions into more manageable and digestible segments. This topic can be further broken down and organized in the subsequent manner:
• Brief History of Drug use
• History-- different beliefs, societal value and judgment of drug use
• Treatment then and now
• How might a therapist use the historical knowledge to assist?
• Key factors or reason to utilize this knowledge.

Brief History of Drug Use

People have tried and used medicinal drugs in one form or another for thousands of years. Wines were consumed be the early Egyptians; narcotics from 4000 B.C.E.; and the therapeutic introduction of marijuana from around 2737 B.C.E. in Asian countries.
In the last two centuries, we have witnessed the active chemical substances in medicines being identified and removed. From there we see many of these substances—for example cocaine—unregulated and liberally supplied liberally by medical professionals for a wide selection of conditions.

History of different beliefs, societal value and judgment of drug use

The word 'addiction' has a centuries-old history. An addict is a person having the need to act out with any ...

Solution Summary

The solution addresses the idea of whether or not a social worker, with a historical knowledge of addictions, can and should incorporate this knowledge into their practice. A brief overview of the treatment and stigma addicts have faced over time is provided. From there the question of how and why a social worker may use this information is posted.

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