A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment: Canada Embraces Social Learning Concept in Treatment of Substance Abuse

By Long, Carmen A.; Langevin, Chantal M. et al. | Corrections Today, October 1998 | Go to article overview

A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment: Canada Embraces Social Learning Concept in Treatment of Substance Abuse


Long, Carmen A., Langevin, Chantal M., Weekes, John R., Corrections Today


Perspectives on substance use and abuse have evolved over time, reflecting shifts in cultural, societal and professional standards. The last few decades have witnessed a transition from viewing substance abusers as morally bankrupt to attributing the problem to either a chronic and progressive disease or to a learned behavior with significant negative consequences.

While treating substance abuse as a disease rather than a moral deficiency has its proponents, this model has been characterized by a lack of substantive theory and supporting research. However, preliminary research has confirmed the effectiveness of behavioral and cognitive-behavioral techniques on substance abusers in correctional settings.

The concept of social learning is of pivotal importance in forming the theoretical base for correctional interventions that make use of behavioral and cognitive-behavioral techniques. The social learning perspective holds that complex behaviors such as the use of alcohol and other drugs are largely the product of prior experiences. This model holds that global cognitive processes, such as thoughts and emotions, have a significant impact on behavior. The individual's ability to actively modify and control addictive behavior is at the heart of the treatment component of this approach.

Results from numerous meta-analytic reviews of the adult and juvenile correctional treatment literature have repeatedly underscored the efficacy of structured intervention approaches that are built around behavioral and cognitive-behavioral techniques in modifying offenders' criminal behavior. Moreover, studies examining the impact of cognitive-behavioral intervention within the context of substance-abusing offenders also have yielded positive results.

Taken together, research has established that cognitive-behavioral techniques are a key component to correctional treatment. Intervention that is designed to teach substance-abusing offenders skills to successfully modify their behavior stand the best chance of reducing future substance use. Given that substance abuse is a primary criminogenic factor, the provision of effective treatment to offenders during incarceration and following release is critical for offenders' successful reintegration into society.

Behavioral Intervention

Rutgers University researcher Fred Rotgers points out that there are three principle components to the process of providing behavioral intervention: assessment, skills training and relapse prevention. Structured assessment that integrates information from a variety of sources, including offender self-reporting, is the starting point for the process of developing and delivering a treatment plan. However, not all individuals manifest the same severity of substance abuse problems. As opposed to conceptualizing substance abuse problems in an all-or-nothing manner, recent research with offenders complements noncorrectional research, which demonstrates that offenders vary widely in terms of the severity of their use of a variety of illicit substances. In addition, the impact of substance abuse on a range of life areas such as employment, family and marital relations, educational level and criminal history increases dramatically as a direct function of problem severity.

Following the clear identification of the offenders' treatment needs, intervention incorporates the use of a variety of cognitive-behavioral modalities to skills, such as assertion, problem-solving and coping skills, and structured relapse prevention, that are vital to successful modification of problematic behavior both during the course of treatment and following the close of an individual's involvement in the treatment process.

Canada's Approach

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) provides a variety of treatment and program services that target criminogenic factors, based on exhaustive reviews of effective treatment models. CSC's systemwide treatment model has evolved in response to the vast need posed by the majority of offenders in the system for which alcohol and drugs are directly related to their criminal behavior.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach to Substance Abuse Treatment: Canada Embraces Social Learning Concept in Treatment of Substance Abuse
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.