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Pay Attention to Problem Users

April 11, 2008
by Gary Enos
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While data make it clear that problem substance users who don't meet clinical criteria for dependence far outnumber those considered dependent, most of the substance use field's attention is fixed to the addict. But professionals should pay heed to the many developments in health care that are targeting problem alcohol and drug users with screening and brief intervention (SBI) approaches. This week the White House announced that at least 70% of federal government workers are enrolled in health plans that now recognize two new CPT billing codes for SBI, a set of processes that can be conducted in physician offices. Some would like to see screening for substance use problems, particularly related to alcohol, become as common in the doctor's office as the blood pressure check. Addiction professionals should look for ways to link to these efforts, because in some cases, "SBI" could end up producing an "R"—for referral.

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To think that an Addict isn't the same as a problem substance abuser is a reflection of the absence of brain capacity mirrored by the new Mortal Sins the Catholic Church recently made public stating that drug addiction and/or substance abuse/use is a gross sin that will get you a one-way ticket to HELL!! Anybody communicate this to my HIGHER POWER ? If this is the case than what category would we place President Bush ? that has admitted to problematic alcohol abuse and turned his life around with God and Rev. Billy Graham. Still don't get it ? Try this. Senator Barack Obama reported in his book that he used/abused Cocaine and Marijuana during his search for self-identity. What will we call the Senator ? Addict ? Problem Substance User ? And if so by who's criteria ? Would we as PROS simply regard the President and Senator to be in a Limbo state of DENIAL ? If when you make contact with alcohol/drugs you create problems for yourself and/or to others, Buddy, you are an Addict. Addicts are those that are Problematic Substance ABUSERS!!! I just simply would love to hear about the needs of Addiction Counselors/Prfoessionlas. About the on-going demands of classes, continued education that dwarf the expectations for a Masters Degree without just recognition and salaries. Can we SHARE about this with the Federal/State/County/ and/or Municipal Goverments ? Or are their Weapons of Mass Intelecctual Destruction aimed at us to discourage the calling/vocation of an extraordinary species of Professionals ? I've always regarded working with the Addiction population and their families, and at times Problem Subtance Abusers (I confuse them with addicts) as a privileged opportunity to touch the Human Fiber. Though it's a very drastic example the following makes a good point of the ridiculous.:

JULY 16,1945/5:29 AM
OPPENHEIMER TESTS THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB IN ALMEGORIO, NEW MEXICO. THREE WEEKS LATER, THE WEAPON HITS GROUND ZERO IN HEROSHIMA, JAPAN WIPING OUT 140,000 PEOPLE. OPPENHEIMER SEES THE MADNESS, URGES THE U.N. TO GAIN CONTROL OF THERMAL/NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT. THE GOVERMENT TURNS AROUND AND CALLS HIM A COMMUNIST SYMPATHIZER. EINSTEIN THEN SAID, "ONLY TWO THINGS ARE INFINITE, THE UNIVERSE AND HUMAN STUPIDITY. I'M NOT SURE OF THE UNIVERSE."

Gary Enos

Editor

Gary Enos

@apeditor

www.addictionpro.com

Gary A. Enos has been the editor of Addiction Professional since its inception. He...