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Class 3 Assessment & Diagnosis of Substance Abuse.docx

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PSY 215
Amelia Usher

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Class 3 Jan 27. 2014 Assessment and Diagnosis of Substance Abuse Classifying and Measuring Use Alcohol is the easiest to classify because it is legal, standardized and people will tell you how much they drank and how much they spend on it because it is legal How to measure alcohol use? -Retrospective measures: Quantity Frequency Index: You’re trying to remember back, how much did I drink? It is based on averages in the sense that you ask “how many days in the last week did you drink and how much did you drink?” - the problem is that is relying on your memory and the problem with averages is that you are not seeing peaks and valleys with drinking so you cannot distinguish whether someone is bingeing or regularly drinking because it is based on averages so there is no sense on whether it is a heavy drinking day -Prospective Measures: Drinking Self-Monitoring Log: write down every time you drink in a log to keep track of your consumption - the problem is that the mere fact of writing down your consumption you will change your behaviour automatically (you notice how much you are drinking which will make you drink less) so it is not a good reflection of your drinking behaviour Measuring Drug Use Self-Report: individuals can report how much drugs they absorb but this can be problematic because they would not want to report it because it is illegal - The quantity, purity and route of administration also play a role in determining how to measure the substance Spectrum of Psychoactive Substance Use: how it effects the society and in social situations - Beneficial use of substances: medicinal use for community, religious groups (wine being drunk), improves social capital because there is a cohesion of people coming together and drinking to their meal - Non-problematic: there is substance abuse going on but it has a negligible impact on your health for your family and society (having wine every evening) - Problematic: substance abuse disorders, harmful use to family that impacts society and children (domestic abuse), financial troubles What is Addiction? - it is a term that is socially defined and can be seen as obsessive, you are in constant need of it, it is time consuming, acting defensive when someone asks you about it, you might know it’s bad but you end up doing it anyway. It broadly impacts your life in emotional, mental and physical ways as well as seeking out a group that is similar to you for validation and familiarity to be accepted; could be a positive or negative thing - the definition changes over time so when we previously thought as addiction was a moral failing where it is your fault to a definition change where it is seen as a neurological disorder and societal problems - Physiological responses are not directly related to substance abuse  being dependant on the substance If you think of addiction as a disease, you will think about it differently and have a different understanding of it as opposed to looking at addiction in a social context Tolerance and Withdrawal Tolerance: your body develops a t
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