Substance abuse has been identified as a major criminogenic factor in the scientific literature and consequently has been a central focus of treatment and risk-reduction measures in modern correctional practice. In addition to the impact it has on criminal offending, substance abuse is associated with tremendous challenges for the individual, the family, and the greater community. This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the central issues involved in working with persons who have substance abuse issues within a correctional environment. An exploration of the major theoretical perspectives of addiction (moral, medical, social learning, biopsychosocial) will be presented. This course will focus on strategies for assessment, treatment and multidisciplinary teamwork in effective case management with an additional emphasis on harm reduction strategies, comorbidity, the role of self-help in recovery, and the utilization of community resources. In addition, students will have the opportunity to review and critique the literature on controversial topics as they relate to offenders with substance abuse issues including abstinence versus harm reduction goals, psychopharmacological interventions, the impact of cannabis legalization, and diversion programs. Case study examples will be used to illustrate various scenarios encountered in the field.
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