Understand the Root of Addictions and Learn the Best Couselling Practices
Addictions are an affliction which
can affect anyone, even the most well-intentioned and upstanding members
of the community. Addictions come in many different guises. Some are
easily recognised such as drug and alcohol dependence. Others may be
less conspicuous like obsessive shopping or computer gaming. But all
addictions ultimately take a toll on the person with the problem and
those around them.
Addictions counselling is a specialised area of counselling which seeks
to help those with a range of addictions to regain control of their
lives. This short course provides students with insight into the
behavioural and physiological nature of addictions, as well as tolerance
and withdrawal from substances. It will appeal to those working in the
caring professions and those with an interest in this field whether
personal or professional. Different counselling strategies and
techniques are discussed and upon completion it is anticipated that
students will have a well-rounded understanding of how to help people
This course covers the following 9 lessons:
Lesson 1: DRUG AND ADDICTION COUNSELLING
Neurotransmitters and Neurons
- The Reward System
- Substance Abuse
- Review what you have been learning
Lesson 2: TYPES of ADDICTION
- Biological Influences
- Psychological Influences
- Behavioural Addictions
Lesson 3: ADDICTIONS & COMORBIDITY
- Social Anxiety
- Negative Reinforcement
- Personality Issues
- Wernicke-Korsakoff’s Syndrome
- Cognitive Deficits
- Alcoholic Hallucinosis
- Suicide Risk
- Cannabis Use
- Other Substances
Lesson 4: ALCOHOL USE AND DEPENDENCE
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Alcohol Withdrawal
- How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Bloodstream?
- Machinery/Accidents at Work
- Physical Health
Lesson 5 COUNSELLING THE INDIVIDUAL WITH ALCOHOL RELATED PROBLEMS
- Assessing the Drinker
- Drinking History
- Motivational Interviewing
- Drinking Diary
- Hazardous Drinking
- Higher Risk or Harmful Drinking
- Dependent Drinking
- Disulfiram (more commonly known as Antabuse)
- Ondansetron (Zofran)
- Extended Brief Intervention
- Family Therapy
- Group Work
- Multicultural Differences
Lesson 6 SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE
- Anti Anxiety Drugs
- Club Drugs
Lesson 7: COUNSELLING THE INDIVIDUAL WITH SUBSTANCE RELATED PROBLEMS
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
- Behavioural Therapy
- Residential Treatments
- Other Treatments
- Cocaine Addiction
Lesson 8: COUNSELLING FOR ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOURS
- National Problem Gambling Clinics (UK)
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Gamcare (UK)
- Shopping Addiction/ Omniomania
Lesson 9: THE HEALTHCARE TEAM SUPPORT NETWORKS AND SPECIFIC GROUPS
- Drugs Keyworker
- Government, Charity and Private Treatments
- Outreach services
- ECT – Electro Convulsive Therapy
- Family Support
Learn about Different Types of Addiction First then Learn to Help Addicts Deal with their Addiction
The types of substances which people may become dependent upon include illicit drugs (cannabis, heroin, cocaine, etc.) and legal drugs (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, over-the-counter medications and prescription medications). There are also behaviours which induce similar highs to substances and which can also become addictive, which we’ll come to later. (However, whilst some drugs are illegal in some countries, they are not in others.)
DRUGS OF ADDICTION
There are many different substances which people can become dependent upon. Anyone who develops a use disorder to a substance will use that substance in excess. Currently, those substances for which there are recognised mental health disorders include:
- Opioids (synthetic medications similar to opiates)
- Sedatives, Hypnotics and Anxiolytics
- Other, unknown substances
Whilst many people often use more than one substance, a diagnosis is usually made on the basis of the substance which is considered the most important one to the person. The DSM-IV used the term ‘poly-substance related disorder’ to refer to those who have more than one prevalent substance use disorder or who use indiscriminately, but the most recent DSM suggests to record each diagnosis of a substance use disorder separately.
Hallucinogens include psychedelic drugs like LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and mescaline. Inhalants are drugs which are sniffed. They can include drugs such as amyl nitrate which is volatile at room temperature when exposed to air, as well as aerosol and glue vapours which are often sniffed from polythene bags.
Opioids are synthetic medications which are used to treat pain. Examples include oxycodone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone. These are very similar to opiates like morphine and heroin in their action on the nervous system but they are not derived from opium. Sedatives, hypnotics and anxiolytics are depressants - they are said to produce a ‘downer’. Sedatives are tranquilisers intended to reduce overactivity or irritability. Benzodiazepines are an example. Alcohol produces similar effects.
Hypnotics are intended to induce sleep and are also known as sleeping pills. Anxiolytics are intended to reduce anxiety symptoms.
Stimulants include many drugs which produce an ‘upper’ or stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Effects include wakefulness, alertness and increased heart rate. Many drugs like caffeine for instance can induce these effects but from a substance use disorder perspective this group includes
the likes of amphetamines and cocaine.
WHY DO PEOPLE TAKE DRUGS?
When we look at addictions to substances one of the first questions which springs to mind is “Why do people take drugs?” As we have already seen, one of the reasons is because they can get ‘high’ but is that why all people take drugs? The answer, of course, is no. In fact, the first time of taking a substance such as nicotine, opiates or alcohol can be dysphoric and even cause nausea, yet people often take it again.
People may take drugs to overcome psychological or physical pain. They may take them to treat diseases, or to try and gain insight into the human condition through altered states of consciousness. Sometimes people want to move from a depressed state of mind to a less depressed one or from a negative state of mind to a less negative one. The effects of any given drug for each person can be quite different.
Another reason people may take drugs is because they are available. Some, like alcohol and nicotine, are freely and legally available. Others have developed dependence to prescribed medications. In particular, many people became addicted to opioids and barbiturates prescribed by doctors in the early part of the twentieth century, and later to benzodiazepines.
How do our short courses work?
As you progress through each lesson; you will be provided with a range
of ways you can expand your learning. By choosing what tasks you do and
don't undertake; you can expand in areas that interest you most, and
skip areas of less interest.
At the end of each lesson, you will be given a short interactive test to
undertake, which will provide an indication of how your learning is
progressing. Upon completing the very last lesson, you will be offered a
more thorough automated test or examination. This final assessment can
be undertaken at any time of day or night; and any day of the week; and
if you achieve an overall pass; you will be able to obtain a
"certificate of completion".
WHAT WILL YOU GET FROM THIS COURSE?
At the end of the course you will be able to describe the main addictive substances; you will understand how these chemicals act in the body, what the effects are and the behaviour changes. You will also learn where to find resources and services to help those drug addicts.