Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

Jeong-Kyun Choi

Abstract

This study explored social workers’ beliefs towards harm reduction. Specifically, it explored clinical social workers’ beliefs towards harm reduction principles, characteristics of substance users, and beliefs regarding substance abuse treatment options. It also investigated if professional or demographic variables were related to clinical social workers’ beliefs towards harm reduction. Using a quantitative design, 24 clinical social workers were surveyed using the Substance Abuse Treatment Survey (SATS) (Housenbold Seiger, 2005). Data was analyzed using descriptive and basic inferential statistics. The findings indicated that chemical dependency or substance abuse training, perceptions of chemical dependency training sufficiency, and previous employment in the chemical dependency field positively impact clinical social workers’ beliefs towards harm reduction principles. In addition, training in chemical dependency or substance abuse also positively impacted clinical social workers’ beliefs towards harm reduction types of substance abuse treatment options. These findings overlap with the preexisting literature. The impact training has on clinical social workers is profound. Continued training is important so clinical social workers can effectively work with the substance using population.

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