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1.What were your expectations prior to your visit? Where your expectations confirmed or disprove? Please explain.
2.What did you learn about substance abuse/abusers/significant others from this visit?
3.Any new insights that challenged your beliefs regarding a substance use issues.
4.Provide a location, time, and structure of the meeting.How will your experience affect your counseling with addicted individuals and their families?
 

Personal Experience and Learning from a 12 Step Group Organization

Drug addiction is a serious problem in modern society affecting irrespective of any demographic group across the globe. The drug abuse results in illness and lethal outcomes in a huge number, which is also increasing day by day (Kornblihtt et al., 2013). Drug abuse not only affects the individual, rather the entire family and closely related persons are also psychologically affected to some extent. This reaction paper will be discussing my personal experience and learning after visiting a 12 step group organization for a meeting. Therefore, the main focus of this paper is the direct and passive effects of drug addiction on the individuals, their families and the society. This reaction paper reflects my prior and post visiting expectation about the issue. Apart from that the paper will be also discussing how my insight and to believe about the issue and affected individuals have been changed. It will also evaluate the long-term effect of this experience over my counseling procedure. Additionally, this paper is also included the strengths and weaknesses of a 12 step group named CA and two alternative groups namely SMART recovery and Women for Sobriety. 

I thought that the meeting would be very strictly controlled by the authority where each of the individual speakers has a specific time to speak about the current issues and causes regarding the drug addiction and substance abuse throughout the world. I also assumed that there would be a very precise limit of time for the care receivers also to discuss the past experience and their current situation with respect to the support they have been provided from the organization. I had thought that I would gather some additional knowledge that can help me to dig deep into my existing concepts and perception about the psychology of the individuals regarding their addition towards drugs. Because of having some specific knowledge about this issue I was not prepared to experience any new perception about the issues, effects and causes regarding the drug abuse. However after attending the meeting, some of my previous beliefs about the psychological cause and condition for being drug addicted have been changed unexpectedly. On the other hand, I saw that the psychological attachment between the addicted person and the Recovery Team members is exceptionally healthy. From various speeches of the speakers, I have come to know that many of the members of recovery team ware drug addicted individual. These sufferings and receiving assessment encouraged them to become a member of counseling and recovery teams.

Psychological and Physical Problems Caused by Drug Abuse

According to the definition of Drug, it is a chemical substance used to change the biochemical condition of a human body to treat physical and mental illness under the surveillance of low governance (Sofuoglu et al., 2013). However, these drugs are also produced and used illegally to have overnight altered and pleasure sensations. These substances make their consumers addicted to these and also have long-term lethal side effects. Ecstasy, GHB, Rohypnol, Ketamine are some low effective drugs and LSD, PCP, DMT, Psilocybin, Cocaine are some of the high affecting drugs (Jentsch et al., 2014). These drugs are usually taken through injection, snorting, smoking or ingesting orally. Additionally, Weed, Marijuana, Bath salt are other very commonly used highly addictive substances.   According to the statements and social interpretations by socio-psychological experts drug abusers generally become addicted because of their emotional and mental crisis (Petrova et al., 2015). Most of the addicted people choose the drug to escape from their reality of extreme depression, pain and loss. On the contrary, another group of sociologists argues that drug abuse is a result of peer influence at teenage. In most case of teenage drug addiction, the teenagers often feel curiousness about these substances because of its availability and intense usage. Gradually this curiosity becomes an addiction and feedbacks their amplified depression and anxiety that are caused by regular intake of these drugs (Boileau, Nakajima & Payer, 2015). The illegal drugs can be categorized into three classes namely, low effective, moderate effective and highly effective substance. People often start with low effective substance and are gradually ended up having highly effective drugs. Regular intake of low or moderate effective drugs has severe long-term side effects such as neurological disorders, permanent psychological abnormalities, cardiac problem, hormonal problems and others (Robinson et al., 2015). On the other hand, even high dose of highly effective drugs can cause immediate organ failure, excessive blood pressure, panic attack, and even permanent memory loss. Therefore, guiding the addicted people to the path of recovery is equally important as making social awareness against drug abuse (Meyer & Quenzer, 2013). I gained some new insights that challenged my concept about this issue. I had limited and practical knowledge about the psychological and physical problems caused by drug abuses. From my experience, I had never expected that an addicted person can have an enormous level of urge to get rid of his or her addiction. Throughout the whole session, I have observed that each most of the individual who is currently in the process of recovery are addressing themselves as “unintentionally addicted” or “unfortunately addicted” that reflected their sincere concern about their problems and addictiveness.  On the other hand, most of the caregivers and members of recovery team had experience of being addicted to this substance abuse. Therefore, the perception of treating the addicted people of mine has been changed significantly. As stated earlier there are many psychological, social and cultural influences that lead these peoples to get addicted to drugs. Some of them have been engaged in drug abuse completely unintentionally and even influenced by other misleading information (Degenhardt et al, 2013). On contrary, some of them had a frustrated and isolated lifestyle that provoked them to get involved with drugs intakes illegally. Therefore, I have found that the drug addiction or substance abuse is a more sociological problem rather than personal motive or intention. 

Sociological and Personal Provocations Faced by Patients


The meeting which I have attended was named Five Days of CA is continuous events and programs organized by the Cocaine Anonymous group at 112 North Wolfe Street. The meetings were conducted with the cooperation of an organization named Dee’s Place. A huge number of members, psychologist, healthcare professionals and other personnel has been invited to attend the program. Almost 30 men and women have attended the program throughout the series of events.  There was a very precise limit of time for the care receivers and members to discuss the past experience and their current situation with respect to the support they have been provided currently from the organization.

The experience and knowledge I have gathered from the meeting of Cocaine Anonymous have changed my way of interacting with addicted individual significantly. Now I have more personal and in depth view of this global situation involving the sociological and personal provocations faced by the patients. Usually, I use to focus more on personal counseling of the addicted individual. However, being concerned about the environmental impact now I should more prefer group counseling and counseling of individual’s family members. After attending the 12 step group meeting I believe in collective influence towards the addiction, rather than strong independent social or psychological influences. Not only my counseling procedure, rather I will advise any other involved individual to focus on the situational cause collectively. 


All of the methods and techniques implemented by various organizations have individual strengths and weaknesses. Approximately 2.6 million people received addiction treatment from the 12 step group facilities in USA (Sobell, Sobell & Ward, E2013). According to various research and quantitative analysis, the conventional methods used by the organization involved with 12 step group have significant success rate and good appreciations from their care receivers (Hall, Carter & Forlini, 2015). CA or Cocaine Anonymous is one of the major parts of this 12 step group. Most of the rehab facilities have their individual recovery programs based on the 12 step model of the recovery system. CA usually collects small donations at meetings to have a lifetime membership where other institutes have more costly membership procedures (Koob, 2013). Additionally CA provides therapies in return for less cost compared to other rehab institutions.  However, there are some demerits of CA as a part of a 12 step group. Most of the recovery programs are unable to present their agenda attractively amongst the addicted population. Apart from that, people are often found complaining that the therapy offered by CA is not a long time solution. SMART Recovery is organization that follows the REBD method of recovery system in their rehabilitation programs. This organization is well known for their encouraging and empowering activity that provides an addicted individual with the self-motivational power for recovery (Vederhus et al., 2014). Additionally, the way SMART usually presents their activities and programs is very interesting to the addicted group of people who are seeking for help. On the contrary, one of the major complains against this organization is their programs are not effective for eve kind of drug addiction. Apart from that, they follow a rigid structure assisting people to recover that have less scientific and theoretical value. Women of Sobriety follow the self in relation theory to empower the mental ability of addicted women to interpreted real-life consequences and surviving within it (Kelly, Stout & Slaymaker, 2013). This approach also has some strength as well as weakness in their practical implementations. There are two groups of care receivers who are constantly arguing about their experiences of recovery programs powered by WOS organization. The lack of conceptual compliance and active programs is causing significant negative feedbacks against the WOS (Dodes & Dodes, 2014).     

Strengths and Weaknesses of 12 Step Group Programs


From the above description of my experience, it can be observed that, after attending the meeting, some of my previous believes about the psychological cause and condition for being drug addicted have been changed unexpectedly. Additionally, I have found that the drug addiction or substance abuse is a more sociological problem rather than personal motive or intention. Apart from that the experience and knowledge I have gathered from the meeting of Cocaine Anonymous have changed my way of interacting with addicted individual significantly. On the other hand, all of the methods and techniques implemented by various organizations have individual strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, after attending the discussed meeting I believe in collective influence towards the addiction, rather than strong independent social or psychological influences. Not only my counseling procedure, rather I should advise any other involved individual to focus on the situational cause collectively. 

References:

Boileau, I., Nakajima, S., & Payer, D. (2015). Imaging the D3 dopamine receptor across behavioral and drug addictions: Positron emission tomography studies with [11C]-(+)-PHNO. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 25(9), 1410-1420.

Degenhardt, L., Whiteford, H. A., Ferrari, A. J., Baxter, A. J., Charlson, F. J., Hall, W. D., ... & Flaxman, A. (2013). Global burden of disease attributable to illicit drug use and dependence: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 382(9904), 1564-1574.

Dodes, L., & Dodes, Z. (2014). The sober truth: Debunking the bad science behind 12-step programs and the rehab industry. Beacon Press.

Hall, W., Carter, A., & Forlini, C. (2015). The brain disease model of addiction: is it supported by the evidence and has it delivered on its promises?. The Lancet Psychiatry, 2(1), 105-110.

Jentsch, J. D., Ashenhurst, J. R., Cervantes, M. C., Groman, S. M., James, A. S., & Pennington, Z. T. (2014). Dissecting impulsivity and its relationships to drug addictions. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1327(1), 1-26.

Kelly, J. F., Stout, R. L., & Slaymaker, V. (2013). Emerging adults’ treatment outcomes in relation to 12-step mutual-help attendance and active involvement. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 129(1), 151-157.

Koob, G. F. (2013). Negative reinforcement in drug addiction: the darkness within. Current opinion in neurobiology, 23(4), 559-563.

Kornblihtt, A. R., Schor, I. E., Alló, M., Dujardin, G., Petrillo, E., & Muñoz, M. J. (2013). Alternative splicing: a pivotal step between eukaryotic transcription and translation. Nature reviews Molecular cell biology, 14(3), 153.

Meyer, J. S., & Quenzer, L. F. (2013). Psychopharmacology: Drugs, the brain, and behavior. Sinauer Associates.

Petrova, H. A., Zavarzina, O. O., Kytianova, I. P., & Kozyakov, R. V. (2015). Social and personal factors of stable remission for people with drug addictions. Psychology in Russia, 8(4), 126.

Robinson, M. J. F., Fischer, A. M., Ahuja, A., Lesser, E. N., & Maniates, H. (2015). Roles of “wanting” and “liking” in motivating behavior: gambling, food, and drug addictions. In Behavioral neuroscience of motivation (pp. 105-136). Springer, Cham.

Sobell, L. C., Sobell, M. B., & Ward, E. (Eds.). (2013). Evaluating alcohol and drug abuse treatment effectiveness: Recent advances. Elsevier.

Sofuoglu, M., DeVito, E. E., Waters, A. J., & Carroll, K. M. (2013). Cognitive enhancement as a treatment for drug addictions. Neuropharmacology, 64, 452-463.

Vederhus, J. K., Timko, C., Kristensen, Ø., Hjemdahl, B., & Clausen, T. (2014). Motivational intervention to enhance post?detoxification 12?Step group affiliation: a randomized controlled trial. Addiction, 109(5), 766-773.

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