Terminology Related to Addictions
Consider this passage from a psychology textbook, Ethical Conflicts in Psychology (Bersoff, 2008): “The method of adjudication for a recommended sanction of expulsion issued under Subsection 7.5 of this part is a formal hearing before a three-member Hearing Committee.”
This passage is not meant to be understood in the context of this course, but to demonstrate that, similar to the field of ethics in psychology, the field of addictions also has its own terminology employed by professionals. For example, although the terms alcohol abuse and alcohol dependent sound familiar, they have very specific and important differences in meanings within the field of psychology, and depending on which term is applied to an individual, it may affect everything from screening to treatment. Everyone may not agree on definitive definitions of terms because there are many gray areas and degrees of addiction. There are also many perspectives regarding commonly used operational definitions of terms. Even so, addictions professionals need to be familiar with the terminology of their field in order to practice effectively.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling, Chapter 1, “Introduction.”
Review the articles “Introduction to Behavioral Addictions” and “Substance Use Disorders: A Guide to the Use of Language.”
Listen to the media titled Addictions Terminology, featuring four scenarios of individuals making telephone calls to addictions professionals.
Choose one of the four scenarios to discuss.
Choose from among the following terms that might be applied to individuals or situations in the audio recordings: (Note that not all of the terms will be used.)
Note: In this Discussion, you are not being asked to diagnose the individual on the telephone call or the person he or she is calling to discuss, but merely to demonstrate your understanding of common terms in the field of addictions. There are no right or wrong answers.
The media is only a demonstration and does not simulate real-life scenarios. Remember that while you are not diagnosing the individual on the telephone call, if this were a real situation, the person who is answering the call, some cases, is committing a HIPAA violation by speaking with someone other than the person with the problem.
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