FUTURE OF HELPING by
DR. CHARLES H. FROST
education of a social worker is built on a liberal arts foundation so that
we have a comprehensive understanding of human beings informed by
centuries of knowledge development.
States policies governing addiction, instead of being informed by
knowledge, are just plain stupid like our “war on drugs” and in effect are
counter productive resulting in tremendous addiction problems in America. We are just beginning to recognize our
mistakes and change is now beginning to slowly spread.
policies tend to be more enlightened and effective. Modern European culture tends to be
less arrogant and more flexible than modern American culture.
- In the
past and still to this day most of the American models of addiction
treatment require abstinence.
models are not appropriate for all types of clients so that many who need
other types of assistance are refused help. Addiction is not a dichotomous either/or issue---it occurs
on a continuum. Therefore, what is
needed for someone at one end of the continuum is likely to be very
different than what is needed in the way of treatment for someone at the
is borrowing the harm reduction model of addiction treatment from Europe because
it incorporates both abstinence and a variety of less restrictive forms of
harm reduction model also employs a strengths perspective and values
client empowerment---which are old concepts that have proven their
effectiveness over time.
model is also consistent with the latest research on why certain brains
are more likely to become addicted and how the brain of the addicted
person is significantly different.
- Due to
genetics, certain brains are more likely to become addicted. For example, those who are genetically
inclined toward risk taking and impulsiveness are more likely to engage
in novelty seeking behaviors related to addiction.
the pattern of use is established, the brain is changed. A normal brain gets high naturally
with certain chemicals it produces such as dopamine. Regular addictive behavior depletes
the natural chemicals producing a general malaise. The addict regains the pleasure through
the addictive behavior. Without
that behavior, they are in pain.
effective treatment requires that the brain of the addict be changed so
that it does not crave the addictive behavior.
change the brain, the American pharmaceutical industry is creating drugs. However, the injured addictive brain
can heal itself without prescription drugs.
- What is
needed is effective relationships.
In terms of prevention, we need to encourage a culture that is more
relationship friendly for every type of brain, not just for those that
conform to some mythical norm. In
terms of treatment, we need to develop social worker-client relationships
that are based on the harm reduction model and develop client strengths as
we empower them and relate to them with basic Rogerian principles that are
consistent with social work ethics.
the Philippine culture is more relationship friendly, this approach is
suited to your culture and that is the reason that I am bringing up my
children here rather than in the United States.