Treating Alcohol and Drug Addictions

By Sharma, Manoj | Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education, August 2012 | Go to article overview

Treating Alcohol and Drug Addictions


Sharma, Manoj, Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education


Margolis, R. D., & Zweben, J. E. (2011). Treating patients with alcohol and other drug problems: An integrated approach. (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. [ISBN 978-1-4338-0965-1; hardbound; 270 pages; $59.95]

Treatment of patients with alcohol and other drug addictions is a very complex and challenging endeavor. This book assists in that task by presenting new research and treatment methods in the field. The book is organized into eight chapters with an introduction that precedes the chapters. The introduction presents an overview of alcohol and drug problems. It discusses the therapeutic orientations of abstinence and harm reduction models. The section introduces basic terminology and presents an overview of contents of the book. The section is useful in setting the stage for this book.

The first chapter is about the role of psychology in the alcohol and drug abuse field. It discusses the rift between psychologists and the mainstream addiction treatment field which is highly medical oriented. The chapter presents the difficulties in working with patients suffering from addiction and emphasizes the rewards such work entails. It would have been nice if the chapter included examples of actual interventions conducted by psychologists in treatment of alcohol and other drugs.

The second chapter presents models and theories of addiction. The first model that is presented is the disease model with research evidence, neuroimaging studies, and research on relapse. The second set of models include the learning theory models that discuss modeling behavior, positive and negative reinforcement, expectancies, self-efficacy, conditioned responses and cue reactivity, and cognitive behavioral therapy. The third model that is discussed is psychoanalytic theory. The fourth set of models is the family model. The final model that is discussed is the biopsychosocial model or an integrated approach. The underpinnings of the models are discussed in this chapter and it would have been good if practical applications were described in greater detail.

The third chapter is about assessment of substance abuse and dependence. The role of the clinical diagnostic interview is discussed. The various screening and assessment measures are presented. A section on assessing adolescents is included. The chapter concludes with a discussion on feedback and treatment goals. This chapter is written well but it would have been good if a section on assessing geriatric patients was also included in this chapter. …

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