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Screening efforts for any health care problem can be undertaken at various levels. They can be applied routinely to everyone, or they can be targeted, administered only to those in higher-risk groups. Broad-based screening efforts, meaning routine use of a screening tool in a range of settings, is desirable when the condition is common.

The substance abuse field is increasingly using standardized instruments to promote treatment planning as well as to provide a yardstick for measuring treatment effectiveness. The most widely used tool for both of these purposes is the Addiction Severity Index (ASI).

Mental Status and Psychosocial History, Dual Diagnosis and Stages

The mental status examination is a tool used by mental health professionals to guide observation and to assist the interviewer in gathering essential data about mental functioning. There are many psychosocial treatment approaches. Were you to wonder which particular treatment would be best for a particular individual, you would not be alone. A number of large studies have been conducted to examine this very question.

Understanding the relationship between alcohol or other drug use and mood, thoughts, or behavior is one of the most challenging and essential components of anyone’s work in the substance abuse field. Dual diagnosis is an individual with a substance use disorder plus another mental illness. There is at best evidence that clients do better when clinicians match their clinical approach to the client’s “stage.” It is said to ignore a commonly recognized phenomenon—that individuals often change seemingly quite suddenly.

Assess the serious consequences when there is a failure to treat.
Discuss two screening tests that are effective in identifying those with a high likelihood of having an alcohol problem. Then which of the two would you prefer, explain why.
Compare and contrast the following screening instruments: AUDIT, CAGE, TWEAK, short MAST
Compare and contrast the following assessment instruments: ASI and SASSI
Three aspects of mental functioning are standard parts of a mental status examination: mood and affect, thought processes, and cognitive functioning. Discuss each aspect and how it relates to the alcohol-dependent.
Psychological problems are not the cause of alcohol disorders per se. However, in remembering that message, don’t lose sight of the fact that an individual may have both an alcohol problem and another psychiatric condition. Analyze two other types of psychiatric conditions that an alcoholic-dependent may exhibit.


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