Counseling for Substance Abuse

By Sharma, Manoj | Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education, December 2013 | Go to article overview

Counseling for Substance Abuse


Sharma, Manoj, Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education


Stevens, P., & Smith, R. L. (2013). Substance abuse counseling. Theory and practice (5th ed.) Boston: Pearson [ISBN 978-0-13-261564-8; paperback; 411 pages; $123.20]

Substance abuse counseling is gaining popularity as there is growing problem of substance abuse. This is a textbook in its fifth edition directed toward substance abuse counseling. The book has a total of 12 contributors which seems to provide a variety in writing style and flow. The book is linked to MyCounselingLab which has videos based on real world cases and scenarios with associated questions. Access to MyCounselingLab is available bundled with the book or it can also be accessed as stand-alone. This is a very useful student friendly feature which adds to the value of this textbook.

The book is organized into 13 chapters which makes it suitable for adoption in both quarter as well as semester system. The first chapter is by the first author of the book and provides an introduction to substance abuse counseling. The chapter opens up with an activity to be done in the MyCounselingLab. Then a history of substance abuse is presented along with a discussion on the societal costs of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use, abuse, and dependency. The chapter also includes an overview of substance-related diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. Finally the chapter looks at the profession of counseling and presents three cases. The chapter does not have a set of learning objectives, chapter summary, web-based resources or review questions which would make this book more appropriate as a textbook.

The second chapter is entitled, "Ethical and legal issues in substance abuse counseling." The chapter discusses education and training of substance abuse counselors, issues of ethics, confidentiality, multiculturalism, diversity, and ethical decision making. The chapter concludes with presentation of cases. The third chapter is about major substances of abuse and their effects on the body. The anatomical and physiological aspects of the brain are presented and then effects of depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, club drugs, inhalants and anabolic steroids are discussed. The chapter concludes with a case study.

The fourth chapter deals with etiology of substance abuse or why people use substances. The moral theory, disease theory, genetic theory, behavioral theory, socio cultural theory, and an integrated approach are presented in this chapter. It would have been nice to also include a public health approach in this chapter. The fifth chapter is about assessment and diagnosis. The chapter discusses issues in assessment, elaborates the diagnostic interview, and presents the DSM-IV-TR criteria. Screening and assessment instruments such as the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST), CAGE questionnaire etc. are also discussed. Finally aspects of differential diagnosis and dual diagnosis are elaborated. The chapter concludes with case discussions.

The sixth chapter is about treatment setting and treatment planning. …

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