RE: SOCW6103: Response to 2 students – Discussion 1- Internal Consequences of Addiction

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Respond to two of your colleagues who chose a different strategy than yours and provide your view on how your colleagues’ strategy might be effective.

(Be detailed in response and use our references from previous posts)

Response to Marcena

Addiction is one that initially impacts the mind and body. For those going through addiction treatment will find there are internal and external consequences to the addictive behaviors they are exhibiting. These consequences have an opportunity to prolong the addiction process and, in most instances, individuals need to have a combination of medication and counseling to support the healthy mind set.

An example of an internal consequence that may result from clients who have problems with addiction is that internal voice or conscience that tells the substance user the current behaviors they are participating in are not rational (Capuzzi, 2016). One of the problems faced and is seen as a consequence is the stage in their addiction where, “their deterioration, still possess sufficient clarity, honesty and awareness to recognize and admit to themselves that their behavior in the service of their addiction is neither fully rational nor prudent – but they comfort and justify their addictive behavior by noting that certain consequences of addiction have not (yet) happened to them, while they point with pride to their positive accomplishments in other areas of their lives” (Garrett, 2012).

Another example of an internal consequence for individuals with problems with addictions is their “mental defense mechanism” to put the addiction in a place of denial (Garrett, 2012). Individuals who have problems with addiction tend to be under the belief that their behavior is not negatively impacting their lifestyle, so things are not “so bad” therefore ignoring the symptoms of addictions and keeping up with addictive behaviors (Garrett, 2012).

One of the challenges for overcoming internal consequences as it relates to addictions is the state of the individual’s mental health. It is important as practitioners to assist clients in being able to almost break down a wall. This wall is themselves.

Strategies practitioners working in addiction treatment should encourage clients to use in their daily routines are words of self-affirmation. As this can assist in healing the mind by making positive statements.

Two strategies an addiction counselor might use to address the internal consequence is to provide environmental supports such as affirmations of motivational thoughts. Ways to encourage this support would be to utilize the spiritual aspect of the client’s life and with the encouragement of attending a church support group. Another strategy to this if the client does not have a spiritual foundation is to recommend a 12-Step program which would have taken the approach of a strength-based platform (Capuzzi, 2016).

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Response to Brionna

Internal Consequences

Internal consequences within the mind, body and soul of a person with an addiction are the most damaging and unseen consequences. People can see the loss of family, job, legal issues and health problems which result from addiction (Garrett, 2012). Justifying the behavior while high and the internal struggle involved with addiction is not so visible (Garrett, 2012). Being high and the body’s release of “feel good” endorphins cannot be seen or felt by anyone but the one who is high. For example, opiods mimic this high and leave the person always chasing the next opportunity to recreate this feeling (Sinha, 2018). A person can lose their identity and core beliefs when addicted. This can result in deadly behaviors to chase another high. Additionally, neurological deficits cannot be seen from the outside looking in. Addiction can increase depressive, anxiety and paranoid behaviors in the brain of an addict (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). These can be deadly to a person who is sober and even more devastated when the brain is clouded by a haze of addiction. The only way to relieve the haze and pain of coming off opioids is to take more opiods to gain that level of satisfaction (Sinha, 2018). Death is becoming the ultimate internal consequence for this specific addiction.

Challenge for Overcoming Internal Consequences

A challenge for overcoming internal consequences is working with the person within their family or support unit. The peers, family and support network has to understand and participate in treatment as well as the addict. Sometimes families can enable and blur boundaries with someone whom they love. There has to be clear boundaries and consequences within the family or group if the individual is going to have a chance at continued sobriety (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). The family has to be able to maintain balance when the addicted individual is working to change.

Two Strategies to Use as a Future Addiction Professional

Education and in-depth assessments are two strategies which an addiction professional can use to address internal consequences. Educating clients, families and support systems on the impact addiction can have within a person is essential for putting everyone on the same page. Therapists must work to reverse the distorted reality in an addicted individual’s life (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). This can be done by creating rules and consequences, addressing coping skills and locating support systems. Assessment is a powerful tool when working with addictions as well. The environment, system and the individual must be accurately assessed before productive treatment can begin (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Knowing all of the facets of a person’s addiction allows the therapist to take a Tri-Fold approach to engage all aspects of the best recovery plan.

My References

Flynn, P. M., & Brown, B. S. (2008). Co-Occurring Disorders in Substance Abuse Treatment: Issues and Prospects. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 34(1), 36–47.

Garrett, F.P. (2012). Getting away with addiction? Retrieved from January 7, 2019 from http://bma-wellness.com/papers/Getting_Away_Addict

Sinha, S. (2018). Heroin Addiction Explained: How Opioids Hijack the Brain. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/us/addict…

Volkow, N. (2014). Drugs, Brains, and Behavior the Science of Addiction. Washington, DC: National Institute of Drug Abuse.

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