Tag: Addiction

Relationship between Pain Medication and the United States’ Heroin Addiction

Among a string of complications that patients have to deal with, chronic pain ranks highest with regard to the level of distraught and discomfort it causes to its sufferers. Nevertheless, medical practitioners are increasingly facing emergencies with persons exhibiting chronic pain, with their sole duty in such a case being to alleviate it. Ostensibly, the healthcare system has often seen it fit to institute the use of painkillers as the first line of treatment. This disposition stems from the fact that using painkillers has for a long time been thought as the quickest and the most cost-effective treatment method for managing chronic pain. It’s hailed for its effectiveness in dealing with recurring pain and conditions that do not normally respond effectively to traditional pain management techniques. Estimates by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) put the figure of individuals using pain medication to manage chronic aches as 117 million in the United States alone, with the figure expected to rise in subsequent years (Anitescu, Benzon, & Wallace, 2018, p. 67). Concerns, about the use of prescription painkillers, stems from the relationship it possible shares with a rise in the number of heroin addicts across the United States. As of 2016, it was estimated that 9.8 million Americans were struggling with heroin addiction, with the National Survey on Drug Use and Health linking it with opiates use among chronic pain sufferers (Lembke, 2016, p. 78).  What further worsens this scenario is that heroin and its derivatives feature greatly in medicine meant to treat alcohol and other forms of drug addiction. From the premise above, this essay seeks to prove that pain medication is indeed a leading cause of heroin addiction while also providing effective alternatives to properly manage the epidemic.

Pain medication acts as a gateway to heroin addiction since, in most cases, opioid narcotics are seen as a viable option by doctors in managing aches. Medications from this particular family are known for their efficiency in dealing with cases of acute and chronic aches in patients making it a popular option. Pain medication causes the central nervous system focus to shift to antagonists, which are sites for the opioid receptors. In other cases, the affected person’s receptors may be activated leading to immediate relief from pain that might have dogged the individual for a considerable amount of time. Codeine, Vicodin, and Percocet are prescription drugs commonly recommended by physicians to manage chronic pain in patients.  A typical side effect of opioid pain medication is that the individuals in question may inadvertently experience analgesia and euphoria after intake. All this occurs at specific periods, during which the sedative effect becomes apparent, with the individuals finding it useful in managing their pain. Medical practitioners are often aware of the risk of addiction to these drugs, preferring to provide them on the prescription basis to ensure that patients are soon off the drugs (Anitescu, Benzon, & Wallace, 2018). Nevertheless, they often fail to take into account the effect that continued opioid use has on the body’s reward system. Dopamine receptors are eroded, kicking off strong urges to quench urgent opioid craving. It’s vital to remember that buying illegal substances in the United States is much easier than purchasing legal prescription drugs without a doctor’s recommendation, making it easy to acquire heroin as a substitute drug. Persons who had their pain medication discontinued often succumb to self-medication, with heroin being their preferred drug of choice. To them, it acts as a perfect surrogate for the medication they were formerly put on to aid them lead life without distress. . Continued heroin use as a pain treatment alternative that also induces euphoria ultimately results in addiction with the person in question finding it difficult to kick the habit autonomously.

Commonly abused powerful opiates
Commonly abused powerful opiates

Continued use of pain medication ultimately leads to opioid tolerance, heroin serving as the only alternative readily available. The average amount of time that individuals are put on pain medication often ranges from six to eight months, which is enough time for tolerance to a drug to form. According to Adams (2007), this scenario manifests itself through the increase of acute pain which seems unmanageable even with an immense increase in the opioid dose (p. 59). In the human body, pain functions more like a sensory signal. The thousands of neurons solely dedicated to pain permeate the brain making it rather easy for opioid pain medication to exert their effect on the patient’s mu-opioid receptor. Similarly, these receptors are responsible for the release of dopamine, related to a patient’s use of pain medication, reducing their sensitivity significantly. Fewer mu-opioid receptors are released after using the medication continually; forcing the said individual to flood their system with more of the drug to experience its previous effects (Ballantyne & Tauben, 2013). Physical tolerance, therefore, deems pain medication useless, with heroin being their only feasible option. In most cases, addiction stems from an immediate urge to quell the pain together while ensuring that the body is in its accustomed state of euphoria. Heroin emerges as the only drug capable of handling such a bodily state because it’s readily available and can be acquired on a whim. Though classified as a Class A drug, heroin is abundant in the United States due to the permeation of criminal gangs and an increase in organized crime. The bureaucracy present in the American healthcare system inadvertently means that there are various impediments to acquiring a refill for one’s medication without a doctor’s prescription. On the other hand, drug dealers do not require such documentation to provide a patient with their preferred opioid, which makes the whole process of acquiring heroin even much easier.


The rise in heroin addiction across the United States is as a result of physicians using narcotic opioids as their first strategy in dealing with pain. What usually starts off as a harmless attempt to assuage chronic pain often ends in disaster when the introduction of this particular substance marks the start of an addiction. In reality, physicians should exploit all available options before finally resorting to recommending opiate pain medication as a strategy in managing the aches that might be experienced at any given moment. Medical pundits even go as far as opining that the prescription of opiate pain medication should only be limited to surgery patients and persons involved in serious accidents (Quinones, 2015). By so doing, the number of persons using opiates as their only pain management skill will drop, and with it the numbers of those addicted to heroin.  Effective pain management programs will also include plans to get their opioid pain medication off the drug once they begin their recovery phase. There is a high possibility that continued use of these chemical substances may cause dependency and tolerance to a particular drug, ultimately driving them to heroin addiction. Healthcare facilities need to ensure that they look into the provision of residential medical detoxification to remove any drug residue from the subject’s system. Such an elaborate arrangement ensures that all traces of the drug are non-existent, allowing the body to acclimatize to functioning at optimum condition without requiring opioids. In addition to this caregivers need to ensure that they introduce new pain management techniques as a relief method during this phase as the patients are gradually let off the drugs. A specialist often provides TENs Units and the even more popular biofeedback method in ensuring that there is an alternative option ready to aid them to alleviate the pain during this difficult and trying time.

In finality, the rise in heroin addiction in the United States has for a long time been a source of great concern for medical experts. There is sufficient evidence now linking this sudden state of affairs with the use of pain medication and has been proven, time and again, that opioids in these substances are a primary causative agent leading to heroin addiction. Listing pain medication as the first line of defense is one of the main reason why the number of heroin addicts has been soaring each year. Medical practitioners need to come to terms with this reality and develop substitutes that can then be used as conventional pain management methods to reduce cases of heroin addiction. Moreover, doctors need to ensure that patients do not develop tolerance by ensuring that precautionary measures are taken in weaning them off any opioids. Taking appropriate steps in curbing heroin addiction is ensuring in that individuals avoid being hooked to a habit-forming drug capable of ruining their lives completely.

Addiction Scenario Involving a Minor – Child Abuse

Assignment Instructions

Addiction to illegal substances and alcohol is a coping mechanism that many children use to deal with the intense and painful reality of child abuse/neglect. The cycles of addiction can be generational and very difficult to overcome.
Create and describe an addiction scenario involving a minor and offer suggestions for which services you believe would be the most effective in that scenario. Provide details for the scenario such as age of client, signs of abuse, and the type of abuse. Be sure to address the following questions:

  • What are some of the signs and symptoms for the client in your scenario?
  • To what substances is the client addicted?
  • What services are generally offered to help children break addiction and how do those services differ from services offered to adult addicts?

Sample Solution

John is a ten year old child who has been facing a lot of challenges in life. His parents died when John was only 9 years old and he was taken in by his uncle. However, things did not turn as anticipated for John. John experienced constant physical abuse form his uncle and aunt, and he is mostly depressed. He even try avoiding being at home in most cases and prefer spending his time with friend who he feels shares the same predicaments as him. Recently, John’s teacher realized that apart from quietness, isolation and other behaviors that could be associated with depression, John has been showing developments. The teacher notices that John has been having bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, drowsiness, poor memory altered sense of time, impaired motor skills and slowed reflexes, and cognitive impairments. He decided to discuss this with John’s guardian who also claimed that they have noticed that John appetite has increase, and he sometimes seems paranoid while other time he is euphoric. Having been convinced that John is involved in case of drug abuse, the teacher decided to investigate further. The further investigation resulted to John confession that he has been taking marijuana since one of his friends in the neighborhood assured him it will help him to forget his problem and to cope with the life stressors.  John claimed to have been using the substances for about seven months and he takes it mostly on his way from school or after everyone is asleep.

To assist John, the teacher considers looking for a rehabilitation center where John can be helped to break his addiction. Children rehabilitation centers are used to help children overcome their addiction problems and in most cases, to protect children from the problems that acted as the root cause for substance use. They also offer basic education to these children as a way of ensuring that their future is bright. Children may also be taken a placement as a way of ensuring that proper care is provided to those children to ensure that they live a drug free life. This is also meant to ensure that they have proper education to shape their future. This differ considerably from adults rehab centers that only focus on creating treating the addiction and preventing relapse but not  ensuring that they have overcome life stressors that could range from work, relationships, to financial problems.

Why Therapy is Essential for Treating Addiction

Most people assume the remedy for recovery involves detox and abstinence from the drugs/alcohol. The truth is, this is only the beginning. Recovery is a life long process, one that requires discipline and most importantly intensive treatment and therapy. Addiction is usually a symptom of an underlying issue such as trauma, abuse, grief, and many other mental health disorders. Addiction has been named “disease of the brain”. This complicated idea suggests that the issue stems from the brain. Complex and often confusing, this disease attacks the thinking and behaviors of an individual. Therapy is one of the most useful tools utilized to promote long term sobriety.

There are many different types of therapy integrated into the recovery process. Almost all addiction programs recognize this and have found that there is not a one size fits all method to this approach. Behavioral therapy is perhaps the most effective in treating the root of addiction and preventing cravings and relapse. However, there are many different forms of therapy. The goal is to identify and address fundamental issues the addict may be facing. For centuries, therapy has been used for treating addiction of all sorts.

  • Matrix Model was developed in the 1980’s during the cocaine epidemic. Originally designed to treat stimulant abuse, this therapy method proved to be overwhelmingly effective. The Matrix Model was intended to be a 16 week program that includes individual therapy sessions, group therapy, relapse prevention, family therapy/education, CBT, DBT, and encouraging 12 Step meetings. Contingency management is another major component of this method as well, rewarding sobriety and avoiding punishment for relapse.
  • Family Therapy is essential for recovery because not everyone is affected by addiction. The addict does not suffer alone, all members of family and friends are affected by the disease. It is important for the family to be educated on the disease of addiction. It’s not uncommon for individual therapy to include family sessions. The goal is to unify and reunite family members who have been affected. Most addicts will remain in therapy if other members of the family do as well. Healing within the family unit has shown lower relapse rates and higher levels of motivation from the addict through positive reinforcement and support.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short-term psychotherapy that promotes problem solving skills. CBT primarily focuses on solutions rather than revisiting old problems. This method of therapy encourages development of new coping strategies, changing detrimental cognitive thinking, and problem solving skills. CBT has also been used in treating co-occurring disorders as well.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) works to address co-occurring disorders simultaneously. Enhancing behavioral skills, through mindfulness and emotional regulation, is the primary focus of DBT. This type of treatment encourages stress management, decreases impulsivity, and aims to strengthen self esteem through discipline and structure.
  • Trauma Therapy is also a vital form of therapy used for addiction treatment. Recent studies have shown that half of adults have experienced some form of trauma in their childhood. Unresolved trauma is a leading cause of substance abuse. Addicts turn to drugs/alcohol to self medicate the pain of PTSD. Trauma therapy requires the patient to identify the trauma by creating a safe environment for the individual to share painful experiences. Once the patient has identified trauma the therapist will incorporate tools useful in helping to process, change old belief systems, and promote healing.

Every addict requires a recovery plan that best suites their individualized therapeutic needs. It is important therapy promotes a safe and positive collaboration between the addict and therapist. Avoiding condemnation and confrontation, the therapist must empathize with the patient in order to establish a secure and trustworthy relationship. Education in therapy is also quintessential for recovery, it is important the addict understand that addiction is a disease and not a matter of willpower. Through setting expectations the individual will set goals to accomplish throughout the duration in therapy which will ultimately encourage taking further steps towards positive behaviors. Therapy must also employ cognitive behavioral change through identifying triggers and impulsivity which retrains the brain’s functionality. Family therapy will help to establish boundaries and healthy communication between the family and the addict in hopes of setting a guide for a strong sober support. Evidence has proven that recovery is a lifelong process that requires maintenance and consistent spiritual and individual growth. Therapy is an effective tool used in cultivating the foundation for long-term recovery.

Demystifying MDMA Addiction

3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as MDMA is a synthetic recreational drug that is often abused due to its psychoactive effects. Users laud it for increased sociability, energy, enhanced mood and an intense feeling of social excitement that has been linked to addiction. Critics of the drug have time and again raised the red flag regarding long-term use ostensibly because of its conversion to MDA (3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) which is primarily thought to have neurotoxic properties. The drug traces its origin to Germany, when Merck, a pharmaceutical company, developed it in 1912 with the sole goal of using it for psychotherapeutic reasons. Nonetheless, the drug soon became a hit among young adults in the 1980s, later becoming widespread and was ultimately prohibited in 1985 from medical use. Despite the ban, MDMA is still sold illegally around the globe with the United Nations (UN) estimating that close to 18.9 million individuals had used it globally by the year 2016 (Karch, 2007, p. 67). Dealers often sell it in pills form with most users preferring to combine it with other psychoactive substances such as ephedrine, Tylenol or caffeine. Though demonized for its adverse effects on the human body, nascent research is now providing new information that point to the positive results of using MDMA. In this essay, I will give a detailed analysis of the positive aspects of using MDMA while also mentioning the potential harm that the drug may have on users.

Controversy has for a long time courted MDMA. It has been the source of ecstasy for thousands of young adults who find themselves in dance parties and festivals which are necessarily “highly social” situations. It is this attribute that first caught the attention of researchers. Studies now prove that MDMA promotes pro-social demeanor, especially in individuals with high social anxiety. If used in moderate doses, say 75g, the effect is that the individual addicted to the drug can inhibit their anxiety and strengthen bonds with those around them (“Impact of Positive and Negative Ecstasy-related Information on Ecstasy Use Among College Students: Results of a Longitudinal Study,” 2010). The main reason for this positive effect is an increase in Oxytocin known for its vital role in social behavior. Many therapists therefore strongly believe that its use is vital in family and couples therapy. Moreover, scientists have recently viewed the use of MDMA as a novel strategy in the treatment of individuals suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Various clinical trials on persons who have chronic PTSD indicate that there are marked improvements in their affliction’s symptoms. It can consequently be used in psychotherapy to treat brain abnormalities that have been associated with PTSD and reduce fear among these persons (“3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): Current Perspectives,” 2013). MDMA can also be used as a treatment option in tackling a Neurodegenerative disease which includes Parkinson’s disease that has proven difficult to treat. Exposure to individuals suffering from severe symptoms such as uncontrolled limb movements has revealed that MDMA reduces these motor symptoms, making the condition manageable.

On the flipside, it is import also to remember that MDMA is a highly addictive drug that often has adverse effects on users. As mentioned earlier, the drug has adverse impacts on a cellular level as it interrupts the normal functional integrity of the mitochondria. Such a structural effect is dangerous since the mitochondrion is responsible for producing the energy that drives the cells. The resultant effect is a toxic rise in Oxidative stress levels inside the cell that ultimately damages nucleic acids and lipids. Furthermore, addiction to MDMA has been linked to paranoia, memory loss, and excessive perspiration linked to deaths resulting from dehydration caused by a spike in body temperature. Mood swings are also a typical result of long-term use of the drug due to an increase in neurotransmitter use, which soon become depleted when the person in question stops using (Coon & Coon, 2006, p. 45). As a result, the subject is caught up in a recurrent cycle that involves mood swings that cause them to be severely apathetic, hopeless and depressed. Additionally, chemical changes often occur in the brain creating a state of dependence on the drug. Withdrawal symptoms are the most common indicator of addiction as fiends manifest psychological symptoms that may include trouble concentrating, sleep deprivation and fatigue.

In conclusion, there has been a lot of stigma associated with the use of Schedule 1 drugs such as MDMA in a society that is yet to embrace it wholeheartedly. Researchers have nevertheless continued to conduct research that proves the positive effects that addiction to the drug might have on the users such as pro-social demeanor, managing PTSD symptoms and treatment of Neurodegenerative diseases. Even with these benefits, it is still important to remember that MDMA is an addictive synthetic drug that has the capability of increasing cell toxicity, increase in memory loss and mood swings. It is therefore prudent to strike a healthy balance in its use to avoid falling into the abyss.

Evaluating Addictions Assessment Tools

Addictions professionals can choose from many types of addition assesment tools. Addictions assessment are divided into screening and assessment tools. Addictions screening tools are meant to determine if an addiction might be a possibility; they are not intended to diagnose. Addictions professionals use them to gain a basic idea of an individual’s orientation to an addiction. Addictions assessment tools are typically geared toward detecting dependence on or addiction to a specific, identified substance or behavior. These tools are broader in scope and often take special training and considerable time to administer.

The difficulty often is not in finding a tool to use with a client, but rather in choosing the most effective and appropriate tool from a wide variety. Though choices of screening and assessment tools is often made by the organization in which an addictions professional works, many considerations including cost, time to administer, training, and accuracy enter into the selection of the right test for each individual with a potential substance or process addiction. Thus, it is important that addictions professionals be familiar with the tools available to them and understands the effectiveness of these tools in assessing what they are intended to assess.

In this Assignment, you select one assessment tool from several well-known addictions assessment tools and research and provide an evaluation of its purpose, administration, and efficacy.

Assignment Directions:

Select one of the following assessment tools.

Research and select two articles of your choice on your chosen addictions assessment tool.

Write a 2- to 4-page critique of the addictions assessment tool you chose. Include the following:

  • Brief purpose of the assessment
  • Reliability of the assessment
  • Validity of the assessment
  • Type of normative data the assessment assesses
  • Time of administration
  • Cost
  • Reading level, if known
  • Any special administration considerations (e.g., need for a computer or special training)
  • Benefits and limitations
  • Overall utility of the test in an addictions assessment

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Steps of Addictions Assessment Processes Assignment And Sample Answer

Assignment Instructions – Addiction Assessment Steps – Psychology

Addiction takes many forms. A person may be addicted to a substance like cocaine or behavior. Individuals who enter into addictions assessment processes generally have exhibited certain hallmarks of addiction, such as an increase in the behavior, problems in relationships and life functioning, and withdrawal symptoms upon ceasing the behavior.

Someone with a potential addiction may be facing a host of issues. He or she might require medical and/or legal help. A teenager may be a minor requiring parental consent for any treatment and might already be receiving help from a guidance counselor or school psychologist. It is true that individual assessments have unique features and should be tailored to the needs of and aspects related to each individual being assessed. However, there are important steps common to most assessments that allow addictions professionals to gather reliable, valid, and relevant information about the clients they serve, as well as to enlist the best set of professionals to form the multidisciplinary team.

This week, you describe the steps of  standard addictions assessment processes and reflect on the importance of using a multidisciplinary team.

Assignment Directions:

The 2- to 4-page paper should include the following:

  • The steps of an addictions assessment process
  • An explanation of why each step is important
  • One example of a multidisciplinary team and the contribution each of the team members might make to the assessment

Cite your sources using APA guidelines.

SAMPLE ANSWER – Addiction Assessment Steps – Psychology

The Steps of an Addiction Assessment

            Addiction is a condition that may show itself in different forms, for example, addiction to computer games, addiction to drugs/alcohol and gambling (Perkinson, 2012). However, the diagnosis of the problem usually begins with an addiction assessment process.  The main purposes of addiction assessment process are to determine whether actually addiction exists, and whether there are any co-occurring conditions. Moreover, the results from the initial assessments provide useful information for the development of the addiction treatment plan. A successful addiction assessment must be carried by trained professionals, such as doctors, psychologists, therapists and nurses and must follow certain recommended steps.

Addiction Assessment Processes Steps

The process starts by the client filling a standardized questionnaire, asking about the current addiction problem. In addition, the questionnaire has questions related to any treatment history, the effects of the problem on the health of the client, the health history, the behaviour pattern, effects and symptoms.

The second step is a confidential face-to-face interview with the clinician in charge of the diagnosis of the client’s condition (The Association for Addiction Professionals, 2014). In most circumstances that involve the doctor undertaking the diagnostic process, the doctor often checks for other co-occurring symptoms (cause relapse and account for most addiction), which should be treated alongside the addiction problem. If the non-medical teams such as the psychologists, social workers and counselors, carry out the assessment, they have to refer the client to a trained doctor for diagnosis of the co-occurring symptoms. The co-occurring symptoms greatly influence the addiction treatment process. Therefore, it is inherent that its diagnosis is carried out earlier in the course of the addiction assessment process.

The final step is the assessment of the information obtained through the questionnaire, physical examination and interviews. At this stage of the process, a number of assessment instruments such as the Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders may be employed to aid the assessment process.

An Example of a Multidisciplinary Team

There are various trained professional, who can assess clients for addiction problems. These individuals include clinicians, nurses, doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers (Perkinson, 2012). Most of the addiction assessments are done in treatment centres and may require more than one professional to assess the problem. For example in a case of substance abuse, a multidisciplinary team, which may consist of a psychologist, a doctor, a psychiatrist and a nurse may be required. The professionals in the multidisciplinary team shall perform unique assessments related to their area of expertise in order to provide complete and comprehensive assessments for accurate diagnosis of the client’s problem.

A psychologist/psychiatrist may initially administer a questionnaire and conduct an interview with the client with the substance abuse problem. However, the physical examination to determine the co-occurring symptoms may require the work of a trained nurse or a doctor. The team that constitutes the psychiatrist/psychologist and the doctor/nurse form a multidisciplinary team, whose coordinated efforts help in provision of a complete assessment of the addiction problem in such a patient.

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The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) – Addiction Assessment Tool Evaluation

The Addiction Severity Index (ASI)

The success of an addiction assessment process depends on the competency of the addiction professional and the choice of the assessment tool, among other factors. Owing to the availability of numerous addiction assessment tools, it is pertinent that an addiction professional to have appropriate knowledge regarding the tools (McLellan, Luborsky, O’Brien & Woody, 1980). Although the organizations often choose addiction assessment tools for specific disorders, having appropriate knowledge regarding the tools ensures that an effective assessment of a disorder is performed. The addiction severity index is a structured interview that is intended to assess several problem areas in substance abusing clients.

The main purpose of the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) is to assess substance abuse, for example alcohol abuse (McLellan, Luborsky, O’Brien & Woody, 1980). The tool provides an assessment of other number of assessment areas, such as employment status, family relationships, legal problems, and psychiatric status (Carey, Cocco, & Correia, 1997). According to (Deady, 2009), the use of Addiction Severity Index (ASI) has yielded mixed results from different populations. However, (Carey, Cocco, & Correia, 1997) and (Deady, 2009) asserts that the tool has been found to have good inter-rater, split half, internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Moreover, the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) has been found to have good construct, content and criterion validity. The tool has been shown to have a varying internal consistency scales such as 0.89 for medical problems and 0.65 for employment problems (Carey, Cocco, & Correia, 1997) and (Deady, 2009).

The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) has been used in treatment planning and evaluation (Deady, 2009). The tool typically assesses normative data based on two broad categories of the interviewer severity ratings and the composite scores. The interviewer severity ratings and composite scores include data on alcohol, drug, and employment, legal, family, medical and psychiatric status. The tool has been employed in various substance abusing populations such as pregnant women, incarcerated prisoners, psychiatric patients, and homeless people. Moreover, the studies have covered the abuse of substances such as the opiates, alcohol and cocaine.

            The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) is administered by a technician and can provide data dating thirty days or even years in the course of substance abuse (Deady, 2009). The tool typically takes fifty minutes to one hour to administer. Although it requires one to be trained to administer the interview, there is a self-training packet. However, the tool is available in public domain for use at no cost but with the acknowledgement of the authors of the assessment tool.

The administration of the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) does not demand any specialist training and can be administered by any trained drug treatment professionals and physicians who have been trained in the use of the tool (Deady, 2009). However, the tool requires high level of literacy and personal administration is strongly discouraged. Since the tool employs scoring techniques in the development of the ratings, a computer program has been developed to aid the process. The computer programme enables easy data input and processing. Moreover, the computer programme has eliminated errors that may occur in the data processing if manual scoring methods are employed.

The major benefit of Addiction Severity Index (ASI) is that it provides a measure of the other problem of alcohol and drug abuse in individuals (Carey, Cocco, & Correia, 1997) and (Deady, 2009). Unlike the normal clinical disorder assessment process, the use of Addiction Severity Index (ASI) enables the clinician to understand the effect of addiction in the social, financial and employment status among other effects. In addition, the tool offers higher reliability and validity across various adult subgroups. However, some researchers have found the tool is ineffective in assessment of other female-specific substance dependence, such as violence, care-giving and pregnancy-related issues.  The tool is widely used in many countries in addiction assessments owing to its high validity and reliability.

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Addictions Assessment Tools Vs Clinical Assessment Tools Use

Assessment Tools

            An effective assessment substance abuse disorder can determine the success or failure of a medical intervention that is designed for a client. Moreover, making an effective assessment is important in determining the need and the type of adjunctive services for a client (Samet, Waxman, Hatzenbuehler, &Hasin, 2007). During the process of client assessment for a particular disorder, an assessment professional often uses assessment instruments in order to perform an effective disorder assessment. Among the assessment tools are the clinical and addiction assessment tools.

The clinical assessment tools and the addiction assessment tools differ in a number of ways. First, the clinical assessment tools are used for assessment of substance abuse disorders, which typically involve structured interviews and written questionnaires. After the assessment, the clinician can determine the best intervention for a particular patient disorder. Although the addiction assessment tools employ interviews in a addiction assessment, the tools provides a rating mechanism from which a clinician can use to classify the addiction levels of the patient based on a chosen scale, for example the Diagnostic Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Moreover, the clinical assessment tools provide an analysis of the client disorder, while neglecting the impact of the disorder on the patient life. For example, in the analysis for a patient with addiction for a substance, the use of addiction assessment tools may reveal the impact of addiction on job and family relationships.

The other ways in which the addiction assessment and disorder assessment tools differ is the length of administration. The addiction assessment tools have specific duration from which they are administered, whereas clinical assessment does not have specific administration duration. For example, a clinical disorder management may vary depending on the structure of the interview and the questionnaire. Although the addiction assessment process may vary when structured or semi-structured interviews are employed, the tools have average administration time, for example, Addiction Severity Index (ASI) takes on average 10-80 minutes inclusive of assessment and scoring (Samet, Waxman, Hatzenbuehler, &Hasin, 2007).

Finally, the clinical assessment tools provide the clients with an opportunity where the assessment tool may modified to allow the clinician to seek more information on client response. For example, a clinician may ask the client further questions in order to clarify a certain response in order to gain more information about the disorder. Although the semi-structured interviews in addiction assessment tools provide room for clinician assessing the client, this is often a preserve for the experienced clinicians. The assessment tools employ scoring index and place more emphasis on the validity and reliability of the tests, which offers little room for the adjustment of the assessment process.

The Role of Labeling in the Addiction Process

Labeling is a term that defines the influence on individual self-identity and behaviour by the terms used to describe their disorders (Allamani, 2008). The adoption of labels has a long history dating back to 1960s and more modifications have been adopted. The adoption and use of labels has a number of roles in the disorder assessment. However, the use of labels must take into consideration the cultural contexts under which they are being used.

Labeling helps psychologists in classification of disorders, which are important in the design of the appropriate treatments for a particular disorder diagnosed in the assessment process. The use of labels helps to put disorders in categories depending on the assessment outcomes. Different disorder categories have different treatment and their classification based on labels helps in identifying the appropriate treatment strategies.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) (Hamlin, n.d.), using labels helps in statistical catering of the disorders 9for purpose of census records). When assessments are carried out and disorders are categorized based on labels, it helps in identifying the number of disorders that fall under a certain category thus providing the severity of that particular disorder within a population and in the country as a whole.

Implications and Cultural Considerations of Labeling

The use of labeling has a number of implications, which include the likelihood of it carrying a stigma (Hamlin, n.d.). Labeling a disorder may lead to stigmatization, which could lead to damage of the self-image of the client, resulting in stereotyping by the individuals who know the client. In addition, there are likelihood of use of diagnoses as labels, thus excluding certain individuals from services, depriving them in purchasing certain programs and insurance coverage. Therefore, the use of labeling must consider the cultural contexts under which it is used. Some labels under certain cultural contexts may mean a different disorder. For example being labeled an alcoholic may not elicit a stigma in certain culture, while being labeled a drunkard may elicit huge stereotyping.

Annotated Bibliography – Internet Addiction

Bishop, Jonathan. Psychological and social implications surrounding internet and gaming addiction. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, an imprint of IGI Global, 2015. Print.

Summary: The book is very keen on highlighting and discussing the various implications which people who are addicted to internet and gaming activities experience. The book has widely covered the areas of psychopathology, addiction, and human-computer interaction. The book states that “internet addiction affects the current generation which will definitely affect the future society”

Introduction:  The book tries to tackle how to manage computer human interaction in the modern world. It also focuses on the dark side of the internet. It helps to tackle internet and gaming addiction. Information is sourced from various research’s thus it contains facts. The author analyses evidence concerning internet and gaming addiction.

            Evaluation: The book was edited by Bishop and Jonathan and published in the year 2015 by IGI Global. Considering the credibility of the information, the author who is Jonathan Bishop is an information technology executive, researcher, and writer. His research is mainly in human-computer interaction. This indicates that the information contained in the book is based on facts from various research studies and this also indicates that the book type of analysis is evidence based. The target audience is mainly the youth and the teenagers since they are mainly addicted by gaming. The book is a primary secondary where the writer is not directly involved. One of the ways a computer is used is through internet use where a computer is used to access the internet. The book, therefore, indicates the various implications of gaming and internet addiction. The writing is experience based hence the conclusions are objective.

Conclusion: The book indicates that human computer interaction is very necessary “if it is managed and controlled effectively”. However, there is a tendency for human beings to be addicted and to want to use their computers more often. The book is therefore very useful in research paper when discussing effects of internet addiction.


Montag, Christian, and Martin Reuter. Internet addiction: neuroscientific approaches and therapeutically interventions. Cham: Springer, 2015. Print.

Summary: The book examines the broad topic of internet addiction and how it developed. The book also indicates an in-depth review of the neuroscientific findings regarding internet addiction and the possible interventions. The book is very detail and science related.

Introduction: The author focuses on neuro-scientific approach in examining internet addiction. It shows how people are introduced to the internet for the first time and how their problem of addiction increases with time.

Evaluation: The main target audience of the information contained in the book are the scientists, students, and even practitioners. All these groups can apply the information in the book. The book considers Internet addiction as a disorder hence a person who has been diagnosed with Internet addiction is supposed to seek help. There are various studies and reviews which have been cited in the book which shows that scientific facts have been applied hence its fact based and the type of analysis is therefore evidence based. Also the authors of the book are Montag, Christian, and Martin Reuter who have been involved in scientific and human behavior research for a very long time. The authors have also written many research papers related to internet addiction. This shows that the credibility of the source is not in question. The authors were motivated by the rising rate of health effects on internet addicted people. The book also derives its materials from other books which mean that the information is diverse which also means that it’s not a primary source.

Conclusion: The book has offered various ways which internet can be treated. It has focused on therapeutic methods of intervention and pharmacological treatment. There are also various relationships which have been discussed which are related to molecular genetics personality, brain responses to internet addiction and even the autonomic nervous system response to internet addiction. It has provided a critical review on research findings about internet addictions. The author has also made recommendations on advancing neuro-scientific research on internet addiction. This means that it will be used in research paper when we want to show the scientific and psychological perspective of internet addiction.


Price, Hannah O. Internet addiction. Hauppauge, N.Y: Nova Science Publisher’s, Inc., 2011. Print.

Summary: This book examines the topic in a wide manner. One of the main areas of the book is the social impact of internet addiction. The book indicates that the society has been highly affected by the increased use of the internet.

Introduction:  The book focuses on internet addiction on adolescents and emerging youth. It talks about the motivation, actions and emotions of addicts. It tries to compare different youths from different countries on how they are affected and to which extent.

Evaluation: One of the target audience is the society and also the teenagers. The author states that “young people and mostly teenagers have been highly affected by internet addiction due to social media and also gaming activities.” The editor of the book is Hannah O. Price and published by Nova Science publisher’s in 2011 which supports the credibility of the source. However, the information can be biased to a certain extent due to emotional baggage. The book contains personal experiences on effects of internet addiction and how effective are some ways of dealing with the addiction which means that there is personal motivation and also it’s a primary source. Most of the information written can be said to have been analyzed through emotions hence its emotion based.

Conclusion: The book also contains the various ways in which internet addiction can be reduced. For example, the book indicates that “parent monitoring is one of the ways. The book mainly focuses on the emotional side of internet addiction and how it influences the emotions of those who are addicted. ”. It can help in knowing more about the emotional attachment addicts have on the internet and how to deal with it. The book can therefore be very useful in research paper when discussing about ways to mitigate internet addiction.


Young, Kimberly S. Caught in the net: how to recognize the signs of Internet addiction–and a winning strategy for recovery. New York: J. Wiley, 1998. Print.

Summary:  The book contains the various signs which show one is addicted to the internet like “being always on the internet, lack of completing one’s duties for being online and even stress when one is unable to access the internet”. She also highlights the various ways one can be able to recover from this.

Introduction:  Internet addiction can be harmful in some ways. The book focuses on how a person can recognize if he or she is addicted. The various signs are well discussed and are easy to comprehend.

Evaluation: The book was written by Kimberly S. Young and published by John Wiley & Sons in 1998. The author is an assistant professor of psychology and also is the founder of the center for on-line addiction which consults to educational institutions, mental health clinics, and corporations on internet misuse matters. This indicates that the line of work of the author is related to the topic and through her work she has been able to obtain wide knowledge on internet addiction. The content can, therefore, be trusted since the source is credible and the level of bias is low. The target audience is the youth and also everyone struggling with internet addiction. The book can be said to be a primary source since it contains various personal experiences with internet addiction and stories of other people affected hence it appeals to emotions and also facts about the topic hence the type of analysis can be said to be emotional and also factual. The motivation for writing is love of one’s job.

Conclusion: From the various signs discussed on can use the information to discover whether one is addicted to internet and also on the ways to deal with the addiction and prevent internet addiction. It is also the kind of book which interacts with the reader well.


Schell, Bernadette H. Online health and safety: from cyberbullying to internet addiction. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood, 2016. Print.

Summary: The book mainly focuses on the health and safety of internet users. The book indicates the various ways in which internet addiction affects the health of people. The book also indicates that “Internet addiction may lead to cyber bullying which will affect the mental health of a person and also self-esteem of the internet user”.

Introduction: How healthy are you in the internet? This is the question the book tries to answer. The state of cyberbullying is on the rise. The books talks about cyberbullying and how it affects our health. It focuses on a physical and also emotional health.

Evaluation: The author of the Bernadette book is a vice provost at Laurentian University in Barrie, Canada, and he has carried out many research studies related to internet use. The information can, therefore, be said to be reliable or credible since it is fact based. The book contains facts and also personal opinions related to internet addiction and cyberbullying. The main target group is college students.  This is because most of college students have been highly affected by the menace of internet addiction. The motivation for writing is the need to help the young people. The information is a primary source since the author has experienced the effects of internet addiction first hand. The type of analysis is experience based since the author have been able to carry out research in internet and human behavior area hence the book remains objective.


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Is Addiction a Moral Defect – Discussion

For thousands of years, human beings have experienced a variety of addictions; however, over the last few centuries, the assumed causes of an individual’s addiction have changed. In earlier centuries, “inebriates” were considered to have a moral defect or character flaw—the concept of addiction did not exist. Then, in the 18th century, the disease model emerged based on the belief that drugs themselves created addiction. Recent scientific research results support the disease model, with evidence that addictions have biological as well as psychological roots.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Consider how addiction is viewed in your culture.
  • Judge whether you believe an addiction is a moral defect.
  • Review the articles “Alcohol Research: Past, Present, and Future” and “Addiction as a Psychological Symptom” in this week’s Learning Resources, and reflect on whether or not these articles support your belief.
  • Analyze the models of addiction you explored this week, and select the one that most supports your belief.

Post a description of how addiction is socially perceived in your culture. Then, explain whether you think addicts have a moral and/or character defect. Provide an informed argument using the model that most supports your belief.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.