Staying Current With Addiction Related Trends
Counselors, recovering addicts and casual observers alike should be aware of the trends and latest research in addiction. Counselors in particular should understand the latest treatment methodologies as well as emerging trends in drug use and abuse. However, counselors also have the ability and even responsibility to initiate dialogue with their clients, their clients’ families and the community at large. After all, counselors are at the front line of the fight against substance abuse and have the insight that can offer those outside of the treatment industry information to help identify substance abuse, if not prevent it.
Further, an educated public is one that can make substance-abuse treatment far more effective. However, with a plethora of addiction related resources on the Internet and elsewhere there is the constant risk of disseminating incorrect or contradictory information. As counselors and professionals in the addiction treatment industry, we can sift through these resources and disseminate information that is most effective in combating addiction and promoting effective addiction treatment.
A case in point
The news media tends to sensationalize addiction, focusing on the very worst cases or those that involve celebrities and people of note. Addiction can affect anyone, no matter their social or economic status, race or creed. It is a far more insidious and quiet disease than what we often see in the movies or on TV.
Indeed, identifying addiction is not as easy and straightforward as it seems. Addicts become adept at hiding and excusing their substance abuse problem, making family members and friends around them believe that there’s nothing wrong despite their suspicions.
At no point in history has a clinician had so much freedom in disseminating interesting and useful information in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. Today, the sheer amount of information that can be passed directly to those affected by addictive behavior is staggering. This makes it all the more important for counselors to stay abreast of current addiction related trends.