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Psychological effects of alcohol - Anonymous (AA) treatment

Paper instructions: Questions:
Describe the psychological and behavioral effects of alcohol. Discuss both the short term and long term consequences of alcohol abuse.
Compare and contrast the depressant drugs, including benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and anxiolytics. Discuss medical uses for these substances and the potential for abuse and/or addiction. 

Discuss current research on the genetic/biological, social, and cultural factors related to alcoholism. Which factors appear most strongly related to the development and progression of the disorder? 

Explain the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) model of treatment for alcoholism and its policy of abstinence. Discuss reasons for the worldwide support of AA as well as the criticisms of the program. 

Discuss the issue of substance addiction in terms of consequences for the individual and society. Explore why relapse prevention and intervention programs have had only limited effectiveness in solving the problem of drug addiction.

Identify the treatments available for substance-related disorders. 

Case Examples:
Vignette 1
Cindy uses methamphetamine several times a week. Her husband has decided to divorce her, and she was recently arrested for shoplifting. She reports that she shoplifted to obtain money to buy drugs. Her closest friends use and provide her with drugs. Child protective services has decided to revoke her rights as a parent, and her husband has been given full custody of the children. 

Does Cindy meet the criteria for substance dependence or substance abuse? Justify your answer. 

Vignette 2
Robert drinks a martini or two every evening when he comes home from work. Lately he has been drinking four or five martinis on the weekend. Three times he was too tired to go to work on Monday morning and called his boss explaining he was sick. Robert tried to quick drinking for about a month, but he felt jittery and nervous all the time, so he returned to drinking. 

Does Robert meet the criteria for substance dependence or substance abuse? Justify youranswer.

Vignette 3
Ignacio has been prescribed the sedative diazepam (Valium) by his physician for his insomnia. He was initially prescribed two tablets a night, but currently takes six tablets a night to help him sleep.

He reports that when he does not take his Valium he is unable to sleep and suffers with fatigue the entire day. He admits that he sometimes takes a Valium when he feels a lot of stress, and his wife has complained that he seems “zonked out” much of the time.

His boss has recently reprimanded him for not completing his work in a timely manner. 
Does Ignacio meet the criteria for substance dependence or substance abuse? Justify your answer.

Psychological effects of alcohol - Anonymous (AA) treatment

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