Substance Abuse and Alternative Therapies Term Paper by Nicky

A look at substance abuse and some new therapies.
# 150732 | 2,776 words | 10 sources | APA | 2012 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper presents an overview of substance abuse, the reasons behind it and some new therapies that help toward rehabilitation. First, the paper describes what drug addiction is and why some individuals may be susceptible to it. Then, the paper discusses the traditional approaches to treatment, which have been based on a medical model designed to minimize the effects of withdrawal. Next, the paper highlights alternative methods treatments to drug addiction, such as reality therapy, which is future focused and encourages patient empowerment. These approaches are in contrast to AA's 12-step approach of self-criticism. The paper concludes by noting that evidence suggests that 12-step programs are not conclusively more effective than non-12 step programs to treat addiction.


Substance Abuse: Overview
Traditional Approaches to Treatment
New Approaches

From the Paper:

"Quite often, denial or a feeling of being 'in control' is part of the illness of addiction, even when other people around the abuser see that the addict's life is unraveling. Although people abuse drugs for many reasons, substance abusers often have experienced little control over other facets of daily life. The addiction bolsters their self-esteem and gives them a seemingly controllable aspect to their existence (the taking of the drug), as well as a built-in (albeit negative) social structure of friends and a habit to fill time that otherwise might be felt suffering depression or emptiness. Not all drug addicts are depressed, or suffer other psychological conditions (environmental and biological predispositions also play a role) but it is not uncommon for drug addicts to exhibit co-morbidity, or other psychological abnormalities, such as mood and personality disorders. These disorders may be the cause of the addiction, or conversely encourage the addiction to take hold.
Substance abuse can be a form of self-medication: using the drug temporarily alleviates the sufferer's anxiety, particularly social anxiety."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bakalar, Nicholas. (2006, July 25). Review sees no advantage in 12-step programs. The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2009 at
  • Buddy, T. (2009, March 7). Are you a functional alcoholic? Retrieved September 27, 2009 at
  • Caplin, M. (2009). Balancing the scales - A personal journey. International Journal of Reality Therapy, 28(2), 55-56. Retrieved September 27, 2009, from ProQuest PsychologyJournals. (Document ID: 1708436601).
  • Covington, S. (2008). Women and addiction: A trauma-informed approach. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs: 377-85. Retrieved September 27, 2009, from ProQuest Medical Library. (Document ID: 1637709001).
  • Davis, D. & G. Jansen. (1998, March). Making meaning of Alcoholics Anonymous for social workers: Myths, metaphors, and realities. Social Work. 43(2), 169-182.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Substance Abuse and Alternative Therapies (2012, April 01) Retrieved September 29, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Substance Abuse and Alternative Therapies" 01 April 2012. Web. 29 September. 2022. <>