Discuss the role moral theory plays in today’s substance abuse treatment philosophy.

Discuss the role moral theory plays in today’s substance abuse treatment philosophy.

HUS 2421Methods for Identification and Intervention in Substance Abuse

We have a textbook assigned for this class.


  • EDITION:  6TH 18
  • ISBN: 9780134055930

Lesson 3 – plus RESEARCH TOPIC


Please make sure that you read the following instructions and complete all assignments to receive full credit for this lesson.

  1. Read Chapter Four
  2. Read the Lesson Notes below
  3. Choose one of the 2 discussion questions and post your response in the Lesson 3 Discussion Question Discussion Board
  4. Respond to 2 of your classmates

Etiological Theories of Substance Abuse

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 introduces you to the world of substance abuse theory.

To better understand the complexities of this chapter think about your own concepts of why individual uses drugs of abuse. Some of you might think that there are individuals born with a specific gene that predisposes them to drinking or drug addiction. Others might say the behavior is learned over a period, through the interactions of outside individuals. Moreover, others may still look at addiction as a sign of moral deficiency and decay. All of these guesses have been developed into established theories.

I cannot stress the importance of this chapter when it comes to developing your skills as a substance abuse counselor. Theory is the corner stone of all academic principles. In quoting Akers (1997):

Theory, if developed properly, is about real situations, feelings, experiences, and human behavior. An effective theory helps us to make sense of facts that we already know and can be tested against new facts.


Akers (1997) statements essentially confirm that theory is about things we already know, or think we know. With theory, we are able to conduct empirical research that can establish that our beliefs are either on the mark or are false and must be rethought. Theory will therefore reflect how we as substance abuse professionals will attack a problem.

Finally, it is important to understand what a theory truly is defined as:

A theory is a set of interrelated definitions and relationships that organize our concepts of understanding of the world in a systematic way. This is accomplished through scientific research that can be tested and replicated.

(Oxford Dictionary of Sociology, 1998).

Learning Objectives

  • Define moral theory
  • Define disease theory
  • Define genetic theory
  • Define systems theory
  • Define behavioral theory
  • Define sociocultural theory
  • Define biopsychosocial theory

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Please submit your research TOPIC for consideration to your instructor.

More Info about the Final Paper!

For the Research Paper you are to use at least five references (The references should be peer reviewed journal articles written within the past 10 years)  and write a 5-7 page formal paper (APA Style) on the topic of your choice related to substance abuse, treatment and/or recovery. This paper is to be written double-spaced with one inch margins. The paper should be written using Microsoft Word, .doc format. The references should be cited using A.P.A. style.
Sample Topics For Research Paper: 

These are some suggested topics for your research paper, but you can develop your own topic if you want, but it must be related to substance abuse. If you are unsure if your chosen topic is suitable, ask your instructor.

* Substance Abuse and the Elderly
* Adolescents and Substance Abuse
* Women and Substance Abuse
* Disabled and Substance Abuse
* Minorities and Substance Abuse
* Special Populations and Substance Abuse
* Symptoms, concerns and treatment specific to a particular drug (like cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, club drugs, etc.)
* Alternatives to 12-Step Recovery (like “Secular Sobriety”, “Rational Recovery”, “Moderation Model”, etc.).
* A specific treatment approach (like “Minnesota Model” or Therapeutic Communities).
* Counseling Theory and Substance Abuse (like “Choice Theory” or “Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy” and how it is used in work with people who have substance abuse problems.
* Relapse Prevention
* Adult Children of Alcoholics
* Substance Abuse and How It Affects the Family
* Codependency, Alanon/Naranon Issues
* The “War on Drugs”


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Please follow all of the instructions for this assignment

Choose 1 of the 2 Discussion Question Options below to respond to. In your subject line type: “Theory of Substance Abuse”, or “Moral Theory”


  1. Chapter 4 lists several theories of substance abuse. Choose a theory that you identify with and discuss why you feel this theory is a better fit then the others. Be sure to discuss the strengths and weakness of these theories.



  1. Moral theory has been a common theory of use throughout the 19thand early 20thcentury.


Discuss the role moral theory plays in today’s substance abuse treatment philosophy.

Make sure to cite three examples of how moral theory exists today.

Post your response to the above in the Discussion Board (250 words minimum)


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Discuss the role moral theory plays in today's substance abuse treatment philosophy.


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