PDF A Choice Theory Approach to Drug and Alcohol Abuse

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Love and belonging is considered the most important of the five needs as it allows for connection with others. However, as substance use evolves to abuse, love and belonging are often sacrificed. I have observed a common shift in attempts to meet the needs of fun, power and control, and love and belonging as use progresses to abuse. Early attempts to meet needs for fun and love and belonging may involve recreational drug use at a party.

Now instead of being a means to secure belonging, the use is a way to manage powerlessness. Often, girls I work with share feelings of guilt or shame as a result of unhealthy behaviors required during use.


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This is an indication of the actions that have conflicted or dishonored her positive core values. I then partner with the young lady to address the patterns of behavior that were not aligned with her positive core values. I start by validating her desire to meet a need while helping her identify healthier alternative behaviors that meet the need more effectively and promote long-term health and wellbeing.

The reasoned action model is widely used to explain the motivation behind drug use and offers a convenient structure to examine the relative importance of attitudinal and normative considerations in forming the behaviour of individuals. The social influence models recognise that social factors play a major role in the initiation and early stages of drug use.

Social influences may arise from the media, peers and the family. The models are significant because they were the first approaches in prevention designed to essentially change behaviours.

Choice Theory

Social influence models make up several of the core components still used in the most successful prevention approaches. Also called observational learning, social learning theory emphasises the importance of observing and modelling the behaviours, attitudes and emotional reaction of others.

Drug Addiction and Abuse: Is it Disease or a Choice ?

The modelling process is made up of the processes of attention, retention, reproduction and motivation. For example, if someone with a psychological disorder observes someone else dealing with the same problem in a more productive fashion, then the first person will learn by modelling the behaviour of the second person. Another common example of social learning situations are television commercials which suggest, for example, that driving a certain car will make us more popular.

We may model the behaviour in the commercial by buying the car. The model is often the basis for peer models and life skills models. The core set of life skills can be divided into problem solving, critical thinking, communication skills, self-awareness and coping with stress WHO, The life skills approach is built around creating opportunities for young people to acquire skills that enable them to avoid manipulation by outside influences.

It aims to help young people to achieve control over their behaviour while taking informed decisions that can lead to positive behaviour and values. In the USA a popular Life Skills Training programme LST address three components found to promote substance use, each component focusing on a different set of skills, i. Although another recent external evaluation suggests that neither LST nor other primary prevention programmes are likely to have a major impact on drug use and drug problems, LST is one of the few programmes that has been extensively evaluated and for which there is research evidence of a small but positive impact on drug use.

Normative beliefs theory bases itself on social ecology theories, which postulate that instead of looking for causes within the individual, or even in the individual's way of interacting socially, we should focus on the social system itself and how that system affects individuals Hansen. Therefore, efforts to modify substance use must focus on changing the person's environment rather than the person.

Motivation and Choice Theory

A person who sees the peer group as positively inclined towards substance use is characteristically motivated to use alcohol and drugs as a way of gaining social acceptance. Similarly, those who belong to groups not inclined towards substance use will most likely be inhibited from using alcohol and drugs because of implied and real sanctions from their peer group. The approach deals with the misconception that many adults and most adolescents use drugs. For example, students are provided with information concerning the prevalence rates of drug use among their peers, from either national or local survey data, so that they can compare their own estimates of drug use with actual prevalence rates.

Sociological and stage models are a new generation of models developed since the mids which focus on the developmental stages of drug use as an approach to designing effective interventions.

Free will in addictive behaviors: A matter of definition - ScienceDirect

The idea is that drug prevention strategies should be developed which target young people at these particular stages of drug use. This is a group of models based on sequential and evolving theoretical concepts. Substance abuse is developed in a sequential process over several kinds of substances and degrees of deviant behaviour shaped by the social relations in which subjects live, e.

This theory was presented as a framework around which to develop specific theories of initiation, progression and regression in drug behaviour. She also argued that the early onset of drug use is a crucial risk factor for progression to more serious forms of drug use. They adapted the model to describe the development of drug use and a drug habit through a number of stages, starting with pre-contemplation not considering use , followed by contemplation seriously considering use , then preparation intending to use in the near future , action initiating actual use and finally maintenance continuing use.

This model is no longer considered useful for prevention.


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The models also include personal variables such as self-efficacy and focus on subjective stress. The social ecology model was developed by Hawkins and Weiss and Kumpfer and Turner and is the most recent theoretical model of prevention interventions. The model proposes that effective prevention approaches should include elements which will improve family and social climate, self-efficacy, school bonding and peer relations. This should be achieved by establishing and maintaining clear rules and boundaries, strong support and rewards for positive behaviour.

There is growing evidence that young people may adopt new patterns of drug use in ways that are consistent with the diffusion of innovation theory. The theory does this by focusing on:. Ben Westhoff. Jenny Valentish. Kaveh Akbar. Wendy Maltz. Amy Johnson. Rachael Keogh. Deepak Chopra. Cameron Douglas. Jason Hazeley. Patrick Carnes. Patrick J. Anna Lembke.

Cynthia Kuhn. John Healy. Terence McKenna. Vicki Carpel Miller.

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Sacha Z. Cat Marnell. Simon Chapple. Rabbi Abraham J. Carolyn Costin. Robert Thomsen.

Practice Demonstration - Substance Abuse Counseling

Jean Illsley Clarke. Neven MacEwan. Darlene Lancer. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Free delivery worldwide. Expected to be delivered to Germany by Christmas. Constant use ultimately leads to eventual dependence as a result of the body's adjustment to living with a drug that is continuously being introduced into the body and brain.

Michael emphatically states: "A mental illness? A character disorder?