Substance abuse interventions in corrections

Usually, felons in correctional agencies are adults (Abrantes et al. , 2005; Babor et al. , 2006). These are people whose criminal backgrounds started way back into their early years – inside their homes. They began using illegal drugs at early ages (Flory et al. , 2007). These, usually, have no education, no acquired skills, no successful work experience, were not raised or familiar with stable home conditions (Gorman and Conde, 2007); if anything, they’re raised in families that support and encourage criminal values, attitudes, and behavior, etc. (Elkins et al, 2007; Fergusson et al, 2007).

With these kinds of people to deal with, the task is not rehabilitation but more of habilitation (Henderson et al. , 2007; Anglin & Speckart, 1984, Cited in The Report of the National Task Force on Correctional Substance Abuse Strategies). Since they had no basic family and socio-economic atmosphere necessary to instill and promote normal and good behavior which is acceptable to any progressive and decent society, these people need to be clothed with the “basics” of life necessary for them to function properly within a society without becoming a threat to the populace (Hepburn and Harvey, 2007).

Fortunately, most of the contemporary correctionals have a comprehensive program which includes holistic approach that is effective in treating drug-using offenders (McNulty et al. , 2007). The program includes: 1. Clear mission statement and criteria for appropriate participants, as well as assessment strategy (Rawlings, 1999; Nemes, 1999). 2. Moral support and understanding of the agency’s administrators and their staff (Rawlings, 1999; Nemes, 1999). 3. Well-trained staff who constantly keep an update and has an on-going education with regards to their therapeutic work (Rawlings, 1999; Nemes, 1999). 4.

Maintain consistent intervention strategies which are provided through linkages with other correctionals as offenders move through the system. i. e. they’re being followed up (Rawlings, 1999; Nemes, 1999). 5. Continuous evaluation (Lemak and Alexander, 2005; Anglin & Speckart, 1984, Cited in The Report of the National Task Force on Correctional Substance Abuse Strategies). Understanding Criminality: Deviance and Recidivism ~Studies on Risk versus Protective Factors An insightful paper prepared by Resnick describes the theoretical viewpoint that risk and protective factors are two things that may “mirror” each other.

Risk factors like low academic performance increases the possibility of child or youth’s involvement in activities that may harm themselves and others while protective factors such as high academic performance increases the likelihood also of the individual committing aggression against another. These factors reside in an individual and that a disproportion of one especially the “risk factors” over the other indicates a caution or warning; the person may traverse in a direction which may foster a tendency to exhibit aggression or violent behavior.

In the study, identifying these balance or imbalance within individuals may help reduce the occurrence of school violence by early detection of symptoms thus, interventions may be employed coming from various strategic points like the home, and the school and the community (Resnick, 2004). According to the Laub (1998), the home and the school are milieus that importantly direct the development of aggression or violence. Aggression at home significantly reflects what may eventually occur as aggression or violence in school, though not always.

Male students attack peers or other male students. In addition, teachers are hurt either by verbal abuse, physical injury or threats of aggression. Fights that commonly occur in the campuses relate to “possession of toys, equipment and/or territory, about retaliation, & rules of games” (Laub, 1998). Behavioral Programs and Timeliness to Use them ~ Case Management Program One of the most important innovations of the past decades is the program called “case management program” (http://psychservices.

psychiatryonline. org). It deals with mental health and community care. The program was so designed as to deal specifically with persons having substance use disorders. Because persons with this problem are suffering from the multifaceted and chronic nature of this disorder, case management is a program of treatment that is comprehensive and continuous in its approach. Its strategy is client-centered and aims to treat every individual differently according to the individual’s unique needs.

Since it is believed that persons with substance use disorders suffer from multiple needs, the care administered has to be continuous and coordinated. Although case management approach is modeled after mental treatment examples, it is nevertheless distinct in that is was developed separately and is aimed particularly on substance abuse. Hence, there is a strong distinction between them. Experts have shown that case management approach is effective in that it could reduce the wear and tear that usually is the result of drug addiction.

It helps to “improve both the psychosocial and drug and alcohol outcomes among persons with substance use disorders” (http://psychservices. psychiatryonline. org). Theoretical framework A. Developmental Understanding of Individuals The following discussion corresponds to the statement of inquiry posted at the beginning of the paper “What is adulthood and its characteristic features? ” To this end, Arnett proposes his theoretical perspective which he deems as apt to the transitional gap between the two stages proposed by Erikson and described by Marcia.

Arnett’s Emerging Adulthood The theory proposed by Jeffrey Arnett is labeled as emerging adulthood which is distinctly different from is more widely known as early or young adulthood. According to Arnett, there are characteristics that are prevalent in this stage. Identity formation is essentially known to be identified with the period of adolescence. However, even Erikson admitted that adolescence sometimes is prolonged or takes longer years of the “extended identity exploration,” Arnett noted (Arnett, 2000 in Atkinson, 1993).

In Arnett’s observation, if his theory becomes a valid stage in the life span developmental stages, the extended identity formation that Erikson describes may well fit this proposed stage (Arnett, 2000). Arnett identifies in his findings the areas of demographics, subjective perceptions, and identity exploration where many of the goals and activities of the individual in “emerging adulthood” happen (Arnett, 2000 in Atkinson, 1993). The adult with a capacity for true maturity is one who has grown out of childhood without losing childhood’s best traits.

As with one who has retained the basic emotional strength of infancy, the stubborn autonomy of toddle hood, the capacity for wonder and pleasure and playfulness of the preschool years, the capacity for affiliation and the intellectual curiosity of the school years, and the idealism and passion of adolescence, the mature adult incorporates these into a new pattern of development dominated by adult stability, wisdom, knowledge, and sensitivity to other people, responsibility, strength and purposiveness (Arnett, 2000 in Atkinson, 1993).

People who have approached maturity can feel that they have loved and been loved, have done their work, have made their mark on people, and have made the most of what there was. Arnett’s extensive studies identify a gap becoming apparent with distinct characteristics separate from the adolescent and that of formal adulthood. In Arnett’s observation, this transition in between the stages is non-existent in most cultures other than the western (Arnett, 2000 in Atkinson, 1993).

Understanding the concept of Social Clock Studies affirm previous cultural and traditional observations concerning many aspects of adulthood. However, some glaring realities point to changing patterns due to many factors. The premise is based on the hypothesis that the maturation of an individual into adulthood is manifest when people conduct themselves in adult behavior and consider themselves to be adults. Then they should be dealt with as adults. By adulthood people are self-directing (Atkinson, 1993).

The belief that there are descriptive and prescriptive age norms concerning adults during their developmental shift involves the concept of the social clock. The social clock hinges on its description of society’s expectations where time to get married and have children at the same time attaining more of life’s burdens. For example, the traditional or what has been considered as the perception of women who have not yet entered into matrimony as individuals who are negatively appraised during their middle adulthood stage in contrast to the young adults.

Social clock has something to do with an expectation that a person must somehow behave or conduct him/herself according to established developmental milestones or else, risk the consequences that may happen because the individual has allowed it to slip through (Atkinson, 1993). The concept is not unknown to anyone today, this despite the fact that many among Americans have grown to know in informal set-ups that the social clock exists and must be followed (Atkinson, 1993).

B. Rationale of the Therapeutic Community The idea behind the implementation of the therapeutic community may be clinical in nature but the nuances of the applications of therapeutic techniques, from conception of the structure and staffing to the practice utilizing the assessment and evaluative tools, the knowledge base of which come from social learning and learning as originally pioneered by the Behavioral School of Thought (Condelli and Hubbard, 1994; Cullen, 1997).

Instrumental conditioning, in the strict sense, is based on the concept and idea of Burrhus Frederick Skinner or B. F. Skinner. Like John Watson, Skinner insists that psychologists concern themselves only with observable behavior; that is, the psychologist should study behavior as it is and nothing more. Hence, Skinner tried to look for lawful processes in behavior with the use of rats and pigeons (Atkinson, 1993; Condelli and Hubbard, 1994; Cullen, 1997).

Operant conditioning may then play a role in attitude formation where parents tend to reward their children for expressing attitudes that coincide with their own and to punish or ignore then for expressing attitudes that deviate from them (Atkinson, 1993). Applications of the theory Applications of operant conditioning to an offender-abuser focus on the temporal relation between a response and its reinforcer. Laboratory experiments have shown that immediate reinforcement is more effective than delayed; the more time between an operant response and a reinforcer the less is the strength of the response.

Reinforcement- is anything that increases the probability that a particular response will increase in frequency. The presentation (positive) or removal (negative) of particular consequences may reinforce responses. Thus, reinforcement may be either positive or negative. Positive reinforcer This increases the probability that an operant will occur when it is applied, or it increases the likelihood that a particular response will occur (Atkinson, 1993; Condelli and Hubbard, 1994; Cullen, 1997).

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