Week 6: Prevention and Social Change Assignment Paper

Week 6: Prevention and Social Change Assignment Paper
Sam has been home from military service for 3 months. While in Afghanistan, he was the only survivor of an explosion during a mission. In the United States, his family and friends have been celebrating his return with parties and activities. He knows they are trying to cheer him up, but he feels more and more isolated and is in chronic pain from injuries sustained during the blast. He knows he should stick to the prescribed amount of pain medication, but finds that one extra pill here and there gives him the peaceful feeling he seeks. Only 26 years old, Sam knows that he will need to find a civilian job once his leave runs out, but he feels groggy and unmotivated.
What are the potential costs to Sam and society if his dependence on his medication becomes an addiction? From which type of prevention models and programs might he benefit? Week 6: Prevention and Social Change Assignment Paper.
This week, you analyze risk for addiction within a specific population and strategies for risk prevention. You also analyze community-based addiction prevention strategies and develop a recommendation to promote positive social change related to addictions.


Learning Objectives
Students will:

  • Analyze risk for addiction in a specific population
  • Analyze strategies for risk prevention
  • Evaluate efficacy of prevention program strategies
  • Develop a recommendation for positive social change related to addictions

Learning Resources
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Required Readings
Miller, G. (2015). Learning the language of addiction counseling (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • Chapter 7, “Relapse Prevention”

Focus on counselor approaches, prevention models, techniques, and co-occurring disorders.
Cheon, J. W. (2008). Best practices in community-based prevention for youth substance reduction: Towards strengths-based positive development policy. Journal of Community Psychology, 36(6), 761–779.
Focus on best practices for keeping youth from engaging in substance abuse.
Wodarski, J. S. (2010). Prevention of adolescent reoccurring violence and alcohol abuse: A multiple site evaluation. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 7(4), 280–301. Week 6: Prevention and Social Change Assignment Paper.
Focus on prevention strategies for adolescent violence and alcohol abuse.
Yashinsky, E. (2007). Community-based addiction treatment. Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 82(1/2), 77–82
Focus on the client-centered treatment model that is based in ongoing support.
Optional Resources
Hill, L. G., Goates, S. G., & Rosenman, R. (2010). Detecting selection effects in community implementations of family-based substance abuse prevention programs. American Journal of Public Health, 100(4), 623–630.
Focus on implementing community-based programs.
Schaeffer, C. M., Saldana, L., Rowland, M. D., Henggeler, S. W., & Swenson, C. C. (2008). New initiatives in improving youth and family outcomes by importing evidence-based practices. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 17(3), 27–45.
Focus on the three community-based projects for substance abuse prevention and treatment.
Valente, T. W., Chou, C. P., & Pentz, M. A. (2007). Community coalitions as a system: Effects of network change on adoption of evidence-based substance abuse prevention. American Journal of Public Health, 97(5), 880–886.
Focus on the role and function of community coalitions.
Discussion: Prevention Programs for Target Populations
Much of this course has focused on individuals who have addictions or are showing signs of becoming addicted. This week, you explore prevention strategies for an at-risk population. Some programs are focused on helping populations avoid trying a substance, and some are tailored to relapse prevention. How effective are these programs? The results are mixed. For some, these programs are helpful, but many individuals still struggle with addiction. Why might these programs not be effective? Week 6: Prevention and Social Change Assignment Paper.Experts in the addictions field cite different reasons. Many believe that some prevention programs do not address the risk to the population they are targeting. Therefore, addictions professionals typically consider these aspects of a population before creating a prevention program. For your Assignment this week, you will research the risks associated with the population of veterans of military service and examine the ramifications of these risks to their vulnerability to addiction.
To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the Learning Resources. Some of the Resources center on adolescents or other target populations. For this Discussion, focus on successful program features rather than target populations.
  • Consider a population of veterans of military service returning to their home countries. Research at least two articles on the psychological needs of returning veterans and two articles on the biopsychosocial model using credible online sources.

By Day 4
Post your response to the following:
Why might veterans of military service returning from combat be at risk for addiction? Use a biopsychosocial model to frame your responses. Include strategies for risk prevention. Week 6: Prevention and Social Change Assignment Paper.


Top of Form
Why might veterans of military service returning from combat be at risk for addiction?
There is a lot of research on combat military veterans, and addiction. One of the main factors associated with combat veterans and addiction is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many service members and veterans seeking treatment for alcohol problems have experienced the life-threatening stress of combat, many have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many service members and veterans seeking treatment for PTSD have alcohol or other substance problems (Allen et al., 2016). The psychological effects of war can have a profound effect on a person’s mental health. Sadly, many of our service members are very young when they join the military and are shipped overseas. PTSD is the most common mental health diagnosis for the nearly 1 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan between October 1, 2001, and September 30, 2013 (Tanielian & Jaycox, 2016). As such, I believe many of these veterans cope with their mental health problems by using, abusing, and becoming dependent on alcohol and other substances which inevitably will become an addiction if left untreated. Week 6: Prevention and Social Change Assignment Paper.
Strategies for risk prevention.
The first strategy for treating this co-occurring disorder is inpatient treatment. The Veterans Administration offers a multitude of services to help combat veterans who have returned to mainstream society. Trauma-focused interventions meant to address both PTSD and AUD or SUD perform as well or better than usual treatments in reducing symptoms of both disorders (Roberts et al., 2012). I believe that intervention programs should be available for combat veterans as soon as they return back to the states. We can not prevent what happens to them psychologically while they are in combat; however, we can potentially intervene as soon as they return to the states. Finally, not every combat veteran will develop PTSD, but there are other stressors that could put them at risk of developing an addiction.


Allen, J. P., Crawford, E. F., and Kudler, H. (2016). Nature and Treatment of Comorbid Alcohol Problems and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Among American Military Personnel and Veterans. 38(1): 133-140. Retrieved from:
Roberts, N.P, Roberts, P.A, Bisson, J.I. (2012) Psychological interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder and comorbid substance use disorder [Protocol] Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Week 6: Prevention and Social Change Assignment Paper.
Tanielian ,T., Jaycox L. H. (2016) . Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.
Bottom of Form
By Day 6
Respond to at least one of your colleagues.

  • Include a different risk factor
  • Present a different model that might explain a risk factor(s)
  • Provide a different perspective on one aspect of a colleague’s post
  • Expand on a colleague’s post by providing a new insight

Evans, R. I. (2002). Just-say-no campaign. San Francisco, CA: Healthline. Retrieved from the Healthline website:  
Assignment: Addictions Programs
Addiction may cost individuals their relationships, jobs, and health. To society, the costs can be measured in many ways. Addictions have been linked to increases in violence and crime. Financially, the actual costs, which can be measured in health care and crime costs and lost productivity, are astronomical. In the United States alone, costs related to illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco exceeded $600 billion annually in the mid- to late 2000s (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2011). Thus, every community has a program or needs a program to address addiction.
Should you choose to become an addictions professional, you may be able to make a difference in individuals’ lives. For this Assignment, select a community of your choice and research available addictions programs using credible online resources, a local library, and other sources.
By Day 7
Submit a 3- to 5-page paper that includes two sections:
Section One: Community-Based Prevention Programs

  • Briefly describe the community you selected, including demographics and geographic characteristics.
  • Describe three community-based addiction-prevention programs.
  • Describe prevention strategies used in each of the programs.
  • Explain which prevention program strategies might be most effective in each program.
  • Explain what elements might be missing from these prevention programs.

Section Two: Making a Difference

  • If you choose to work in the field of addictions, how might you contribute to positive social change within your community? Be specific and include examples based on what you have learned in this course.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2011). Drug facts: Understanding drug abuse and addiction. Bethesda, MD: NIDA. Retrieved from the NIDA website: . Week 6: Prevention and Social Change Assignment Paper.

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