1 Undergraduate Studies ePortfolio Lynn Fredenburgh Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 2011
Personal Statement My entire life has been dedicated in one way or another to helping people who do not have the advantages many of us take for granted. Along the way, I have worked as a volunteer in food pantries, churches and soup kitchens, encountering and befriending people from many walks of life. Many have had difficulty with substance abuse, and it is my sincere desire to aid them in finding sobriety.
Happy to meet you. Let me share some of my life with you.
Resume VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE Assist individuals who are struggling with addiction and/or mental illness. Counsel victims of domestic violence in self-reliance and living skills. Work with members of the gay community in matters of substance abuse and thoughtful choices. Sunday school teacher. Worship Leader in church. Assist in rehabilitation of abused dogs and horses. Organize and operate a small community food pantry from my store. Feed and counsel homeless in areas of independence and positive life choices. Jailhouse visitation: Encourage literacy and positive life choices.
Reflection Finishing school with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is the culmination of a life goal for me. I have been given a deep need to analyze and help people in trouble, and I am grateful to have been given the tools to do this. Argosy was extremely helpful in finding financing, and I had a great many personal cheerleaders along the way between the support staff and the instructors, thankfully. It was due to this strong support that I currently have a 3.72 cumulative GPA. I learned a great deal about the differences in cultures, and sensitivity to their needs in counseling. Interviewing techniques, Organizational Communication, and Conflict and Negotiation have helped to improve my communication skills, and my patience. My strongest interests were, of course, Substance Abuse classes and those related to the effects substance abuse has on the family members. Biopsychosocial Effects of substances showed not only why some substances were more highly addictive than others, but how they affected the brain immediately upon use, and after habitual use. This helps a counselor relate to his client.
Table of Contents Cognitive Abilities: Critical Thinking and Information Literacy
Substance Abuse Treatments PSY480 UB
An intensive inpatient treatment program is essentially hospitalization with other patients suffering from substance abuse or addiction. It is often a last resort, after many other attempts at either control or complete sobriety. Often those who have tried all other options and continue to relapse have a comorbid problem, possibly a mood disorder, which is causing them to use to alleviate symptoms. This is a place to diagnose and treat the disorder, as it is primary, along with the substance abuse treatment. In this setting those who may have lost hope for themselves can have a structured, consistent treatment program with access to several professionals. They will have a medically supervised detoxification, as well as psychological and pharmacological treatment. In cases of comorbidity, therapists confer and coordinate methods to be used in treatment. There are also groups tailored to the patients’ needs; some gender specific, others according to personal beliefs. The opportunity to retreat from the everyday pressures of family and peers, focusing entirely upon himself with no outside expectations, can give the patient the chance to learn life skills equipping him to avoid the old pitfalls. He can learn new social skills and means’ of communication with those in like situations, so can communicate genuinely with them. Many inpatient treatment services offer aftercare as well as the initial in-house treatment, providing groups and individual appointments for relapse prevention and continuing life skills for sobriety. There are disadvantages to this method of treatment. It is expensive, and treatment programs can last anywhere from a month to a year depending on the severity of the disorder or multiple disorders. There is also the obvious stigma attached to being hospitalized for rehab, as it is hard to keep that kind of secret for long. Being away from family for that long is hard on the family and can cause a disconnect, and one can be labeled at work (Drug Alcohol Rehab). Outpatient treatment has many of the same services available as inpatient, only not interrupting the daily life of the patient. It is a good option for those who cannot leave the community and work to pursue sobriety, allowing them to stay with their families. Many also offer family services and counseling, making it a family effort instead of only an individual effort. There are various options offered for groups, men’s or women’s, spiritual, or 12-step. There are sober-living classes, drug screening, sometimes legal aid, and connections with sober living houses such as the Phoenix houses. There is individual therapy with psychological treatment as well as medical and pharmacological treatment, and continuing drug and alcohol education. The services offered in outpatient treatment allow the client to maintain a semblance of normal life and some flexibility, often located in or near the community in which he lives. The cost is considerably less than inpatient treatment, although they employ the same levels of professionals. This is a good choice for those who do not require strict medical supervision for withdrawal symptoms or newly diagnosed psychological complications (Drug and Alcohol Rehab).
Alcoholics Anonymous is a sort of outpatient treatment run by peers. The original 12-step program, AA began with two men in 1935, Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, who designed the program dedicated to selflessness. The first premise is admitting that that one is powerless over the hold of alcohol and needs God to give him the strength to overcome the need. The program is not particular to any religion but is spiritual, requiring humility of its members. The program recognizes the theory of alcoholism as a disease but does not partake of any medical positions on the subject. They maintain a standard of anonymity and abstention, and anyone who wants to get sober can join. There are AA meetings available nearly anywhere and anytime, even online. They cost nothing, except for the purchase of literature and coffee contributions. Closed meetings are for those who absolutely wish to quit drinking, while open meetings are for anyone who may have questions and wish to learn about the program. Those who join the organization must choose a sponsor so there is a strong accountability factor, and he will hold the novice to the order of the 12-step program found in the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 2010). The general population of members has a very low tolerance for deception, and if anyone begins to make excuses for his weakness in a meeting he will be told that he is out of line. AA does not employ professionals for counseling or medical issues; it is run by peers and with no real hierarchy. Their philosophy is that of strictly recovery and abstention, and most of the meetings are closed and anonymous, so the family and friends are only loosely involved. There are Al-Anon groups which meet, training the families of alcoholics in how to rebuild their lives and relationships with each other, but these groups seem to apply more to the families of the practicing alcoholic than one in recovery. Consequently, the alcoholic is somewhat isolated from his family as he tries to make his way in the company of his peers, or “new family”. Sixty four percent of those who enroll in the program will not last a year, not necessarily because of a relapse, but because of the outspokenness of members at meetings who may not use the meetings to uplift new members; instead to overwhelm and intimidate. There is also only one method of treatment, requiring abstention, and many of those requiring treatment do not fit into this box. Those who do fit into this method of treatment are often bottomed out, with nothing left to lose. This could be part of their retention problem, as the homeless or jobless move around and cannot always attend meetings. It is also very difficult to maintain the motivation to stay sober when a drink might be the only comfort left. The dogma and philosophy of AA has nearly become a religion, and some are not prepared to give up their own autonomy. SMART (Self Management and Recovery Training) is another self-help organization, however it is not spiritually based. As you can see from the name, the philosophy of the organization is about self-empowerment. Preferring not to admit defeat in the face of addiction, SMART endorses a full recovery either through abstinence or simply controlled behavior based on scientific knowledge, and their programs evolve as more knowledge becomes available. Addiction is considered an overinvolvement with a particular substance or behavior, an unhealthy habit, the consequences of which are disrupting one’s life. They have a four-point program teaching how to maintain one’s motivation to abstain, plan changes in behavior and feelings, how to manage self-defeating, negative thoughts which might lead to a lack of self-acceptance, and how to reason through urges. There are no sponsors, and a lifetime commitment is not necessary or expected as one is expected to fully recover with this program. They encourage self-reliance and independence with many problem solving tools in a nonconfrontational manner. There are advantages to the SMART Recovery program over AA. If there is a relapse one does not have to start over as one would in AA, it is just a bump in the road. The organization’s philosophy is positive and upbeat, and discussion is encouraged. They do not discourage medications, and they discourage negative terms like addict or junkie. SMART, a non-profit organization, was previously associated with Rational Recovery, which was for profit. In 1994 they separated, as SMART wished to offer the program to the public at no cost. The program is reason based, and appeals to many demographics. No one has to bottom out in order to participate in recovery, and it is not just for alcoholics, but for anyone with a physical or mental addiction. They have groups for co-dependency, which is desirable for families of those participating, as there is often a level of this in alcoholic homes. Although SMART Recovery meetings are not as available as AA, the rationale is appealing, utilizing many acronyms as punch words for thought processes, They do not discourage 12-step programs, and often clients will go to an AA meeting if there is not a SMART meeting available. The program is authorized in many state prisons all over the country, and can be effective for almost anyone. I might have reservations about the effectiveness of the method for one who has a personality disorder which remains untreated along with the substance abuse (SMART Recovery, 2010).
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. (2010). Archives and History. Retrieved October 16, 2010, from Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=6 Argosy University. (2010). Matching Patients to Programs. Retrieved October 16, 2010, from On Line Lectures: http://myeclassonline.com/re/DotNextLaunch.asp?courseid=4440826&userid=5782228 Drug Alcohol Rehab. (n.d.). Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab. Retrieved October 17, 2010, from Drug Alcohol Rehab: http://www.drugalcohol-rehab.com/inpatient-drugalcohol-rehab-centers.htm Drug and Alcohol Rehab. (n.d.). Outpatient Drug & Alcohol Rehab Centers. Retrieved October 17, 2010, from Drug & Alcohol Rehab : http://www.drugalcohol-rehab.com/outpatient-drugalcohol-rehab-centers.htm SMART Recovery. (2010). Welcome to Smart Recovery. Retrieved October 17, 2010, from Smart Recovery: http://www.smartrecovery.org/ Research Skills Communication Skills: Oral and Written Ethics and Diversity Awareness Foundations of Psychology Applied Psychology Interpersonal Effectiveness **Include work samples and projects with a Title Page and organized accordingly to demonstrate each of the Program Outcomes above
Awareness, Education, and Prevention Biopsychosocial Effects of Substances | PSY480 UB Lynn Fredenburgh
There are many methods of treatment for substance abuse, from inpatient to self-help. There is antabuse (Drug and Alcohol Rehab) to create unpleasant effects when alcohol is consumed, aversion therapy. Methadone is commonly used in opiate addiction as a substitute, given in maintenance dosage to avert or ease withdrawal symptom (Use Of Opiate Drug Replacement Therapies On The Rise In The United States, 2007). The proposed budget for the treatment of drug abuse in the United States in 2011 is over 3,882 billion dollars, 25% of the over 15 billion dollar investment to be made in drug control. Only 11% of this federal budget is to be set aside for prevention, with slightly over 10% this year soon to end. The rest of the 15 billion dollar budget is to be used for enforcement, locally, federally and internationally (Common Sense for Drug Policy, 2008). The logic in this budget is not obvious at first, but it is there. Treatment for drug abuse is necessary, as the problem has been diagnosed. Yet, just as there is a need for varied treatments, available for varied cultures and age groups; there is also a diverse need for preventative measures for the same reasons. We are no longer a “melting pot” of immigrants looking for the American dream, no longer expecting newcomers to leave their cultures behind and assimilate our own. This is an old custom, having taken Native American children into boarding schools after settling the tribes onto reservations and attempting to discourage their languages and religious custom, even medical practices and indigenous foods. Now, as we welcome new settlers, we encourage them to maintain their values and beliefs, encouraging us as neighbors to nurture and respect their individuality. This acknowledgment of the varying cultures (which were retained regardless of the recognition) has demonstrated the need for many approaches to the treatments and prevention of drug abuse. The following statistics are the approximate ethnicities for admissions into publicly funded treatment centers in 2006: 59.4% white, 21.3% African-American, 14% Hispanic, 2.3 Alaskan or Native American origin, 1% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2% “other” (National Institutes of Health, 2008). Of those admitted, 1.3% were under 15, 10.9% were between 15 and 19, over 28 % were between 20 and 30, 24% between 30 and 40, 25% between 40 and 50, 10.6% for all over 50 (National Institutes of Health, 2008). In examining these statistics it should be obvious that nearly half of the admitted substance abuse disorders originate in youth, and nearly half of those admitted were for alcohol, 17.8% using another drug concurrently with the alcohol (National Institutes of Health, 2008). One would concur that alcohol is easily accessible, often in the family liquor cabinet, as well as nicotine, also a drug. If a child sees these drugs used as a matter of everyday life, no amount of teaching in school is going to convince him that these are dangerously addictive drugs to be avoided (COAF, n.d.). Yet we continue to teach drug prevention in schools because we cannot control what happens at home, conflicting with many a child’s cognitive edification (Argosy University a, 2010). Marijuana is also often used in conjunction with alcohol and is nearly as accessible (Common Sense for Drug Policy, 2008). Other groups at risk for substance abuse are single mothers and gay women, who have often experienced physical and/or sexual abuse while adolescents (Dube, 2003). These situations are more frequently reported in lower income homes ( Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2007). Communities which tolerate little drug use, are family friendly (encourage community gatherings, church socialization, have community family events), and are involved with school policy are likely to have lower numbers of adolescents abusing drugs. Adolescents who do not make connections with their peers, who are subjects of bullying, and/or do not have a close connection to their parents are more likely to develop a tendency to substance abuse (Common Sense for Drug Policy, 2008). Communities also need to be welcoming of those of different origins and backgrounds, open to differences and not condemning. In the more urban settings it might be difficult, but smaller communities can sponsor informal ways to welcome newcomers, such as a reception at the local library with an opportunity to access literature about the new neighbor’s culture. This can also teach us how to communicate more effectively, as we become more educated about the differences between Eastern and Mideastern cultures and ourselves. The directness of speech, looking one in the eye as we speak to each other is a direct affront to most from an Eastern culture. Sensitivity training for a new classmate’s peers, explaining the cultural and communication differences, as well as a mentorship program can enhance connections within the class lessening the chances for bullying and ostracism. Their teachers and counselors should participate in the training as well. In making newcomers and young people feel welcome, both in the community and in the family, many of our prevention goals would be accomplished. As of 2008, it was found that teens who had five to seven dinners with their families were only half as likely to abuse marijuana or alcohol as their counterparts who participated in family dinners three or fewer times in a week (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2010). It only follows that as families grow closer, their communities would become more aware of the need to follow suit, particularly when their crime rates drop.
References Dept. of Health and Human Services. (2007, February). FAQ for the General Public. Retrieved October 1, 2010, from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/FAQs/General-English/default.htm#women Argosy University a. (2010). Learning to be an addict. Retrieved September 23, 2010, from Argosy Online Lectures: http://myeclassonline.com/re/DotNextLaunch.asp?courseid=4440826&userid=5782228 COAF. (n.d.). Effects of Parental Substance Abuse on Children and Families. Retrieved September 24, 2010, from For Professionals: Working with Affected Families: http://www.coaf.org/professionals/effects%20.htm Common Sense for Drug Policy. (2008). Economics. Retrieved October 27, 2010, from Drug War Facts: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Economics Drug and Alcohol Rehab. (n.d.). Outpatient Drug & Alcohol Rehab Centers. Retrieved October 17, 2010, from Drug & Alcohol Rehab : http://www.drugalcohol-rehab.com/outpatient-drugalcohol-rehab-centers.htm Dube, S. F. (2003). Childhood Abuse, Neglect, and Household Dysfunction and the Risk of Illicit Drug Use: The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. Pediatrics, 111 , 564-572. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. (2010). "National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XIII: Teens and Parents". New York: QEV Analytics. National Institutes of Health. (2008, June). NIDA InfoFacts: Treatment Statistics. Retrieved October 26, 2010, from National Institute on Drug aAbuse: http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofacts/treatmenttrends.html Use Of Opiate Drug Replacement Therapies On The Rise In The United States. (2007, December 2007). Retrieved September 24, 2010, from Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/91990.php
My Future in Learning School has been an arduous journey, and I am thankful Argosy has been available with online courses. As a psychology major, I have been able to incorporate many of my life’s lessons into my schoolwork, thus seeing the applications of many theories. I have studied the foundations of psychology in school, but have studied the applications since I could speak. I will always wish to learn more of people and what motivates them, and find ways to help improve lives. Although I am now graduating, I have studied independently for most of my adult life. As a counselor, one must stay current with new research, as well as ethical applications, so it is necessary to continue learning academically as well as for pleasure.
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