Annotated Bibliography: Social Work Practice With Groups

Decent Essays
FALL 2015

Despite concerted efforts to improve alcohol and drug abuse prevention and clinical programs as well as decades of research, available information suggests that the prevalence of problematic substance use has not appreciably changed in many American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities (Novins et al., 2011). The severity at which the problematic issues persist varies in each of the communities but overtime it has been categorized as a long-standing problem. According to a recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA 2010), 14.8% of this population
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The Journal of Psychoactive drugs report “Rates of alcohol-related deaths alone are double that of the non AI/AN population (CDC 2008). These alarming statistics indicate a need for increased prevention efforts and availability of treatment for this population” (Larois et al., 2011). Sadly, there are various reasons as to why this problematic epidemic continues to persist with this community. Wiechelt et al., report “studies have documented a high prevalence of lifetime exposure to direct victimization and traumatic experiences among American Indians (AIs) both on reservations (Manson, Beals, Klein, & Croy, 2005) and in urban settings” (2012). Tackling one these issues without addressing the other would not be productive. The Journal of Loss and Trauma suggest, “given the existing research on substance abuse and violence in general, it would appear that the high rates of violence and victimization, PTSD, and substance abuse among AIs are interrelated and that integrated strategies for trauma and substance abuse intervention are warranted” (Wiechelt et al.,…show more content…
Usually, with treatment, there “tends to be a focus on Western medicine techniques that may be interpreted as belittling the culture’s traditional practices (Beiser 1985) or not validating American Indian spiritual ceremonies as therapy” (Larois et al., 2011). The American Indian culture is vastly different with specific customs. Naturally, “individuals entering treatment may desire treatment programs that are more culturally specific and can attend to the needs of their communities” (Larois et al., 2011). Clinicians can provide a level of comfort if therapeutic approaches are catered to the culture of American Indian clients. The barrier clinician’s run into is that “funding sources require the use of EBTs and these programs find themselves adapting their treatments to fulfill these requirements” (Larois et al., 2011). Insurances have an immense impact and say on the services offered because they are the ones paying. Clinicians can find themselves in a bind because they ultimately have to answer to these insurances companies who pay them for their services. The system is set up in a manner that is not conducive to the American Indian culture.

Substance abuse recovery programs fundamentally apply a twelve-step program to help clients attain sobriety. Novins et al., discovered “the development of the substance abuse service system in
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