Tuesdays with Cyberbowie: Substance-Related Disorders
First, listen to this podcast about treating addictions from Open University:
1. According to Dr. Finch, when considering treatment for clients with drug addiction, it is important to
determine the client’s goals. Often treating addiction is not limited to helping a client stop using drugs.
What other needs must be considered when treating clients with drug addiction?
o Helping them feel like they need to stop
o Social Support
o Major damaged lives – help with housing, benefits, employment
2. Heroin addiction can be treated with opiates. You may already have been familiar with one of these –
methadone – prior to the podcast.
1. What pharmacological criteria do drugs such as methadone satisfy which make it a successful
treatment for heroin addiction?
Not pill-form or anything that can be injected
Relatively long-acting (no peaks or withdrawal symptoms that heroine addicts have)
Not as much euphoria that heroine carries
2. Methadone has two purposes in treating heroin addiction – maintenance and detoxification.
What is involved in each of these phases of treatment and how is methadone used for each
Detoxification – stabilize someone on the dose of heroine used – then reduce methadone
over time; stage only those who are ready to do it – can do it. Drug removal from body
Maintenance – Methadone is most effective through maintenance. To get off methadone,
patients would need a tremendous amount of support to get off methadone.
3. Dr. Finch describes methadone as being a “sticking plaster”. What does she mean by this
It will solve most of the problems, but might not always deal with the underlying things.
Methadone pulls everything together, because for some people, a lot of support and
psychological therapy may be needed (childhood abuse), but can’t get it.
3. In the podcast, Dr. Finch talks about two forms of psychotherapy for addiction. What are these and what
model are they based on?
Relax-prevention – type of cognitive therapy – looks at misusing drugs and relapse skills
Motivational-Interviewing – type of CBT – looks at people’s motivation (decision-
balance analysis – look at benefits if stopped misusing)