Substance Addiction Counselor Essay

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In the field of substance abuse counseling, the importance of a thorough and accurate client assessment cannot be overstated. It is particularly important for addiction counselors to be aware of any abnormal physical and medical conditions of their clients, as these can present unique challenges in the treatment of co-occurring substance use and mental disorders. Competent counselors know the significance of physical symptoms exhibited by such clients, as well as the potential complications of using medications in their treatment process. Many of the physical symptoms that accompany a substance-related disorder or even a mental disorder are similar to those of somatic disorders, so it can be challenging for a counselor to discern their implications in the course of treatment. It is standard protocol for clinicians to render a provisional diagnosis until detoxification is complete as…show more content…
This is especially true of patients who have a substance use disorder due to the possibility of a prescribed medication having a toxic interaction with a drug of abuse (Westermeyer et al., 2003, p. 123). An example of this is how methadone interacts with fluvoxamine, a commonly prescribed antidepressant. If a doctor were to somehow prescribe fluvoxamine to a patient who is also undergoing methadone treatment for opiate addiction, the result could be an increase in the blood level of methadone (Bertschy et al., 1994, cited by Westermeyer et al., 2003, pp. 130-131). Were the patient to find this intoxicating effect pleasant and not report it, the overall treatment plan would be compromised as one addiction is replaced with another. On the other hand, some drug interaction effects may be unpleasant, in which case the patient might decide to privately discontinue use of one or both medications and unwittingly incur serious

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