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Running Head: Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a very serious disease that has affected people of all ages. The problem can never be cured but it can be treatable. In the case study, we saw a young woman and her counselor work together to help her return to the road of recovery. Alcoholism can not only affect the addict but the people in their lives. Following a proper course of treatment and finding good professional support can help a person recover from alcohol addiction and possibly live a long and productive life.
Alcoholism is disease commonly classified as alcohol abuse or addiction which includes the symptoms of cravings, loss of control, physical dependence and tolerance (MedicineNet, 2007). Alcoholism can vary in different degrees of severity and can affect an addicts personal life which includes their family and society in negative ways (eMedicineHealth, 2007). 1 in 13 adults are affected by alcoholism but the disease is treatable but a recovering alcoholic will never be cured (MedicineNet, 2007). There are many factors that can lead to excessive drinking which eventually can lead to the abuse of alcohol. The many factors are genetics, a person’s emotional state, low self-esteem or the media’s misrepresentation of the positive affects of excessive drinking (Mayo Clinic, 2006). According to community surveys in the United States, over 13% of adults will suffer from alcoholism (eMedicineHealth, 2007).
In the case study, we saw a young woman named Lisa suffering from tuberculosis while also battling alcohol addiction (Curry National TB Center, n.d.). Lisa had suffered a setback in her recovery from both diseases due to personal problems. Her counselor’s goal was to help Lisa get back on the right track to recovery by getting her back on her TB medication and reconnecting Lisa with her former alcohol counselor (Curry National TB Center, n.d.). As a worker I would have followed the some of the counseling techniques but implemented an action plan. My goal would be to provide support and information to the client and allow them the time to explain their situation, so they can explore their options (Mandell & Schram, p. 369). A client should never be forced to make a decision on recovery because it will only produce resistance and negative results. I would always ask a client to express their feelings so we can get to the root of the problems and hopefully more on to a productive course of action which will benefit them. In the media clip, we saw that Lisa was positive about treatment but she had some personal obstacles which deterred her from her goal (Curry National TB Center, n.d.). As a counselor, I would give Lisa the opportunity to express her feelings about how her personal obstacles have negatively affected her recovery and what other ideas can she offer to keep her ask her for her opinion on her ideas that would get back on track to her recovery. The goal is to help Lisa understand that she still has control over the decisions in her life. Lisa and I would agree to enter a contract with shared responsibilities and an understanding that the contract can only be successful if we both contribute to it. The contract would include potential barriers, strategies and alternative course of actions (Mandell & Schram, p. 385-86). The potential barriers could be Lisa possibly reuniting with her boyfriend or having to locate another living situation other than her sister’s home. The strategies would be to provide Lisa with couples counseling and locating low-income rooming houses. After mapping out all barriers, strategies and course of actions hopefully Lisa and I will fulfill the contract with positive results.
The most important part of the treatment plan is the mutual trust and agreement between counselor and client. A client has to trust their counselor with their most personal thoughts and issues. A counselor has to be able to express trust without personal judgment with their client. The goal is to creating a trusting and helping relationship between client and counselor to help the client understand that they are not alone and someone is fighting for them. The treatment can only work if both parties contribute to the contract and the client has to want to become a recovering alcoholic.
For over 200 years there has been a debate regarding whether alcoholism is a disease or a personal behavior problem (Hobbs, 1998). I believe that alcoholism is a disease because I have seen it from a personal observation. My uncle started as a social drinker but as the personal