SAGE Journal Articles
Explore full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in the chapter.
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Drawing on qualitative data, this article attempts to clarify the language of spirituality as used in relation to addiction and recovery. It explores what is meant by ‘spirituality’ in the context of 12-step programmes followed in the numerous anonymous mutual help groups which address the problem of addiction to a variety of substances and behaviours, and raises some of the most frequently cited problems with a ‘spiritual’ approach. It argues that wariness on the part of social workers (and other professionals) of 12-step programmes on grounds of their religious/spiritual dimension may benefit from reconsideration. It also suggests that social workers might be informed and empowered to support those individuals and families who chose to seek recovery through the 12 steps.
Summary: This article reviews, particularly with reference to USA sources, the empowerment perspective, the strengths perspective, and the harm reduction approach as they relate to clinical application in serving those affected with alcohol or drug use disorders.
Findings: Social work practitioners have long been educated in applying empowerment processes and the strengths perspective to better serve their clients. However, applying the harm reduction approach, particularly to the population of those with substance use disorders, has only recently been discussed in social work literature.
Applications : The purpose of this article is to provide social work practitioners with relevant information pertinent to the empowerment perspective, the strengths perspective, and the harm reduction approach as they apply to helping those with substance use disorders. It also proposes various strategies involved in the assessment process, treatment planning, and treatment derived from practice experience that integrates these important social work approaches to possibly better assist this population.