The role of social workers in individual support with recovered addicts

Narcotics addiction is a problem has found a wide range and a lot of peoples are involved acute biological and social and mental problems due to the drug using. We need having experts with professional and scientific abilities for addiction solving at the social level and addict’s problem solving at the individual and family level. Due to the individual, group and social methods of the social work, the social work profession analyzes and assesses the social problems including addiction narcotics at three levels: individual, family and society. The social workers learn and apply theories and specific skills in each of the work methods of the social worker for social therapy. The most important and the main role of the social worker is teaching the recovered addict according to the functional theories and changing and modifying the individual social work behavior, departments in group social work and the facilitation and informative role in the community social work. He makes himself ready more for learning the methods and alternative behaviors, when recovered addict is awareness relative to his wrong behaviors and his environment control’s inappropriate methods.
According to census, about 90 percent of the recovered addicts return to drug using while statistics on the international level is significantly lower than this figure. This indicates monitoring and supervision and our training methods need to be reviewed. Unfortunately according to the lack of appropriate educational and social infrastructures and rejection of the recovered addict by the society the institutions and authorities can not be expected over their abilities so it is necessary the social workers use particular training and skills in interviews and individual- group consultations for recovered addict as a result the person can have an effective step with knowledge and personal awareness for situation improving and effort for returning to the society, and being coordinated with community.
One of the important methods and theories the social workers can use is reality therapy approach of the choice theory. The reality therapy is based on this principle that human being always chooses his behavior and due to this principle the reality therapy tries that individuals accept their action responsibility. The reality therapy in fact is internal control and positivist and it intends to prepare the fields of people training for correct choices In order to satisfy the needs. This approach basically uses a strategic theory known as “choice theory” for helping people who have used inefficient methods to achieve their goals. The methods have been correct due to the time, situation, knowledge and information of the certain elective courses and there was not any better way because if there was, it would be chosen. Temporal reality is a set of techniques and tools for helping people in order to move from inefficient to efficient behaviors, changing destructive to constructive choice, and most importantly converting unhappy to happy life style then the aim is that persons are taught for correct choices in order to satisfy their needs that they can make prosperous conditions in their lives. Teaching the choice theory to the damaged individuals involved in using drugs by various factors open a new window of life and self knowledge and it can be effective to raise the quality. The social worker can have an effective role in rehabilitation centers and treatment clinics and he teaches the recovered addict who is responsible against his behavior and he should not see himself as a victim relevant to the past time and problems in society and due to the basic principle of choice theory, the social worker must know he can not urge addict performs what he does not want to do but the only way is teaching the better method and encouraging him to do this. If the social worker successfully acts in his training and encouragement, most probably the recovered person can take a step toward reaching the success identity with more power and motivation and he feels himself victim less. Educational program can be either single (individual interview) or 8-person groups are presented during 12 sessions of 90 minutes for 4 weeks (3 sessions per week). Training must be accomplished in the form of discourse and questions-answers and after two months it should be followed up whether the recovered addict will have acted on the basis of choice theory or not.
The content of an educational program can be chosen like this:
* Presenting the preface of the theory and a brief review on the framework of educational sessions class
* Introducing the choice theory and argument regarding this theory and its main principles and conceptions
* Introducing five basic demands that every human being was born with them and he behaves based on them
* Presenting the traits and principles has control over genetic needs
* Introducing a desirable world (qualitative) and helping people discover and recognize the desirable world images and its values and principles and in case of contradiction with reality and being inefficient, the images will be changed and replaced by other images
* Introducing four constituents of general behavior and answer to this question how our brain works
* Introducing the concept of responsibility, behavior consequence and responsibilities’ rights
* Introducing different effective or ineffective, repetitive and routine or new and reconstructed behaviors
* Introducing the internal control psychology against external control psychology
* Introducing important role of interpersonal relationships
* Introducing the choice theory language related to the children and spouse
* Introducing seven destructive and seven constructive habits and their substituting
In choice theory training there are numerous tools and facilitations like choice theory chart, capability card, little bears world and behavior’s machine card so they can be used in theory training.
The only viewpoint is able to understand the addiction phenomenon and more real conclusion about an addict is a person always contemplates the family relations and social structure simultaneously and recognize their conditions in coordinated relation, but it seems the current conditions are the best way a person can have an effective control on his life and satisfying his needs responsibly due to a lot of problems the recovered addict has deal with. In this method, the person is encouraged to be understood what he wants really and what he does for reaching it.
In reality therapy process the person learns to evaluate himself about what he fails to do or he bothers other people by his behaviors, and due to his behavior assessment and its logical and natural result he learns to show more effective behavior. The social worker in this way has a determined role by raising the level of individual knowledge and work skills with individual.
1. William Glasser, founder of reality therapy and choice theory, Tehran, Vajeh publication, 2013
2. Choice theory of William Glasser, translator: Ali Sahebi, 2011
3. Social work methods and addiction prevention and treatment, Mostfa Eqlima, Tehran, the publication of Welfare sciences and Rehabilitation University, 2010

Maryam Siahpoush
Social worker
Articles relevant to the third Iranian social workers’ media campaign

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