Ethical Issues in Addiction Counselling


23 Mar 2015 18 Dec 2017

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Ethical Issues in Addiction Counseling

Although counselors and psychologists remain focused in their professional ethics by following ethical standards which are similar; this is not the case in addiction counseling because counselors encounter different situations due to the nature of their counselees. O deal with this challenge is therefore imperative for the counselors to work towards realizing their ethical standards based on ethical standards of the counseling profession (Scott 2000). There are six unique ethical issues to be analyzed fully. The addiction treatment is not therapeutic as many processes psychology for it tends to be base more on faith than the scientific approach. The research being undertaken currently suggests that there is more research on the field of addiction and scientists have almost come into conclusion that addiction is a brain disease. Chemicals and their exposure to the brain is the main cause of addiction. Scott goes further to argue that drunkards recovering from alcoholism are not normal enough since the alcohol affects cognitive reasoning. However, the main problem is that many psychologists are known not to link alcoholism with clinical research to determine the interrelationship. This argument has elements of truth in tit because you can find that the practitioner rarely you will find them in touch with the research hence link is vital to addictive counselors and counselees. The greatest enemy to the promotion of integrated approach in harmonizing theory, research and clinical practice is tradition. Many practitioners think they know much from their experience and they hold on to the past ways of doing it. This is a clear indication of ignorance. For those who can not work within the disease model are advised to change to other forms of rehabilitation to safeguard many drug dependent from leaving the counseling censure. The addicts whom refuse to follow the classic disease model are said to be in denial or even adamant to change. Instead of forcing clients, to ways that they do not like the counselors should be open minded and use the available methods. Hence, imperative to be open to look at the treatment model and whether it works or not and device new ways.Another very important point that affects Counseling addictions is the failure for professionals to agree on who is fit to handle these cases. Since this research is more complicated it requires advanced training which lacks with many addict counselors. The idea of uniformity rather than individualized training aimed at tackling the problems as per addict.Moreover there is questionable propensity of group work or team work. Since the professionals are not enough in this field then groups like Alcoholics Anonymous have come to aid their fellow alcoholics and they offer group approach counseling. With their dark past many of these addicts could have cognitive impairment because of using drugs and may develop antisocial behavior hence will not be in position to fit in the group discussion. Furthermore, there is confidentiality and the federal laws are tougher on addictive law than the states this is made to encourage addicts to feel free to go for counseling without fear of being apprehended..In addition there should be clear cut demarcation between who gives the go ahead for counseling. Although, many of these decisions are made by people who are not sound it is advisable for the government to avoid forcing addicts to counseling like the law that incase you are caught driving and drunk you attend Alcoholics Anonymous. Incase the counselor finds the customer is not responsive it is the ethical responsibility of the counselor to stop the process otherwise there is no need to squander the customers money without results.In conclusion this article is scholarly because it has addressed paramount ethical issues affecting addiction counseling and the way forward.

Ethics in Substance abuse Rehabilitation

Most substance abuse practitioners are persons that are in recovery which means that this practitioners may have limited training in ethics thus they may encounter problems while trying to recognizing ethical dilemmas while in practice. This field lacks a framework within which it works consistently. In the past ethical problems in substance abuse were resolved using professional codes of practice of other fields e.g. medicine. However practitioners often feel that ethics is more of a personal issue thus organizations have been helping support practitioners sense of mortality and professional behavior through laws, regulations etc. Practitioners come from various training backgrounds which in turn affects their ethical background Howeverarticulate ethics and values can help improve and guide professional conduct.A clear set of standards and ethical framework may help practitioners clarify case management decisions and increase their competence in serving the clients because without a clear set of ethical standards for practice counselors may feel the pressure to comply with particular set of beliefs, causes etc. However a major setback undermining the achievement of good conduct is that many therapists are refusing to be part of any comprehensive program evaluation.The main aim of code of ethics according to Kerry in code of ethics is to; protect the health of the client by laying down standards of quality, provide guidance for professional behavior and also to protect and promote the professional identity and integrity of a profession. Ethical principles of rehabilitation counseling include; Autonomy which refers to independence, freedom and the capacity for self governance. States that the client should have autonomous voice in his/her treatment enabling him/her to make decisions. Beneficence which is an ethical principal that emphasizes an obligation to promote client welfare. Client's interests should be above the counselors. Non munificence refers to acting in a manner that does not harm the client. Rehabilitation counseling should function within the limits of the counselor's role, training and technical competence and only on positions for which counselors are professionally qualified. Justice principle requires practitioners to treat clients fairly e.g. in the allocation of monies, resources and time. Also in the charging of professional service.Fidelity principle focuses on loyalty and honesty in professional relationships between councilors and clients, colleagues among others. It includes protection of client's personal information. Ethical dilemma exists when two or more ethical principle values come into conflict and suggest opposing courses of action..In conclusion findings of this article are scholarly in that they clearly show that substance abuse treatment field is rapidly changing. Treatment facilities are attempting to individualize therapy to meet the needs of a diverse clientele by increasing the menu of treatment options, while more and more counselors are entering the field with less mentoring and limited training in ethics. Ethical practitioners are becoming more and more aware of the contextual' forces in the profession that influences their ethical practices.

Confidentiality in Substance Abuse Counseling

Confidentiality has been defined in The Social Work Dictionary as: A principle of ethics according to which the social worker or other professional may not disclose information about a client without the client's consent. This information includes the identity of the client, content of overt verbalizations, professional opinions about the client, and material from the records. In specific circumstances, social workers and other professionals may be compelled by law to reveal to designated authorities some information (such as threats of violence, commission of crimes, and suspected child abuse) that would be relevant to legal judgments.In the 1996 revision, confidentiality is highlighted in three specific areas of practice: with clients, with colleagues, and in research. In Section 1.07 of the current Social Work Code of Ethics eighteen different categories of responsibility social workers have towards their clients' confidentiality are outlined .The fact that there are eighteen provisions, more than any other area in the code, demonstrates the importance of confidentiality to the profession of social work. These points specifically address what is considered confidential material, with whom and when that material can be released, and when and how this information should be explained to clients. Specific highlights include: Social workers have permission to disclose information only with the proper consent of the client. Social workers should inform clients about confidentiality, and when and to whom disclosure is appropriate. Social workers cannot disclose information to third party payers without consent of the client. Social workers should not discuss confidential information unless privacy can be assured. Confidentiality should be maintained in a technological office that includes computers, faxes, and cellular phones.Exceptions to confidentiality; there are times in the course of the client-worker relationship that the client may voluntarily rescind confidentiality. There are other times where confidentiality is not legally binding on the social worker. These circumstances relate to safety of the client or others. Important issues related to confidentiality include client consent, duty to warn, and privileged communication. Consent. There are many times where it would be beneficial for a social worker to talk to others who are involved in the client's life. This might focus on obtaining third party reimbursement, additional history, collateral collaboration, court testimony or sharing information with other service providers. With managed care, clients generally want reassurance that their sessions will be covered, but that only the minimum amount of information is provided to the insurance company (Corcoran & Winslade, 1994). Therefore, clients often allow social workers to release information to insurance providers, including diagnosis and treatment plans, but rely on workers to not divulge every aspect of their drug and/or alcohol use.A second occasion when a social worker may seek a client's consent is in pursuing additional history from collateral sources or corroboration of information. This will occur primarily during initial assessment; however, it might take place later during the treatment process. For instance,when a client is admitted to a psychiatric unit, there may be a need for additional information such as family history of psychiatric disorders or substance abuse, the precipitating event, or the client's current living arrangements. Such additional information, usually provided by a family member, may be beneficial in making an assessment and verifying a client's information. Findings of confidentiality in substance abuse counseling are scholarly in that it shows how applying the standard confidentiality rules for basic social work practice is not adequate or acceptable when working with substance abusing clients and may well cause legal and ethical difficulties. Comparison is most exhibited in the above articles mostly in the way of addressing practitioners know how which is clearly a hindrance in effective counseling. All articles observe reluctance on part of therapists in observing ethics code. Also all three articles address ethical issues in counseling. Furthermore all articles observe the importance of practitioners to observe code of ethics. All three articles support each other.Information in all the articles can be synthesized in terms of observing substance councelling which is discussed in all the articles. This can address all issues brought forward in addiction councelling. By broadly talking about ethical issues in substance addiction councelling, this will address all concerns.


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