Specialized Treatment for Special Populations

Specialized Treatment for Special Populations



Specialized Treatment for Special Populations

The greatest shortcoming to quality care in special populations like addicts is the generalization of treatment. To understand addiction was must approach it from a point of diversity. The treatment ought to not only acknowledge the patients’ innate differences but also incorporate the newfound perspective on the treatment. The abusers’ age, gender, culture, health condition and type of drug abused should be considered. Subsequently, the treatment should be customized to fit the patient description. Apart from the immediate circumstance, the counselors should analyze the backgrounds of their patient to understand the source of addiction and risk factors that may trigger reuse, for instance, a significant other that is struggling.

There is a marked difference in the type of drugs abused within a particular demographic. Elderly people are known to abuse prescription medicine and alcohol, and illicit drugs are a rarity in this demographic. The source of women’s abuse is often intertwined with their intimate relations, the resultant depression, or influence from their significant other in the name of adventure. Abuse in women often leaves them susceptible to sexual assault, that angle should also be considered (Corey & California State University, 2013). Putting the two groups in a singular setting with a generalized approach will inevitably produce inaccurate and misleading results. The abuser may be mentally retarded, and the only cause of addiction is misdiagnosis on the part of the previous doctors who have been prescribing addictive pills out of ignorance of the underlying problem. Secondly, they may not be aware of the reaction the drugs may illicit when the mix with the person’s condition. Separate mental health services ought to be availed. The patterns of the patients’ abuse ought to be identified and integrated into the treatment.

The doctors ought to have a cultural competency that is drawn from cultural sensitivity. For this to be possible, there has to be an intentional representation of the population from which the patient belongs, the main reason being that they may identify factors that will lead to easier reformation that would be otherwise overlooked. For instance, Latino and African American families place very high importance on familial relationship that is a significant pillar of their transition towards full recovery. Similarly, the staff may be privy to the local languages getting a different perspective on the problem. The impeded relationship with family ought to be considered as a factor that prolongs abuse. Loss of daughter or son to children protective custody may exacerbate the existing depression subsequently increasing drug abuse.

For better care, the counselor ought to get familiar with the cultural implications of a particular patient. This may vary from their spirituality, communication style, to their worldview. The counselor will be able to illustrate points using relevant analogies relatable to the particular patient. The decorum of handling a patient varies with culture. For instance, an Asian patient may perceive informality as disrespectful (Corey & California State University, 2013). The above will have implications on the counselor-client relationship. People from cultures that have been oppressed often sense even the slightest degree of disrespect. As such, maintaining sensitivity in the terms used is essential to avoid stereotypical jokes. Culture informs the patient’s relationship with the authority figure, counselor. The counselor may have to go out of their way to make the patient comfortable. The level of stigma from abuse may vary. While some cultures attach equate abuse to societal suicide, others approach it as a minor mishap. For instance, drinking in the Russian and Irish communities in permissible even when the person is addicted as long as they behave appropriately.


Corey, G., & California State University. (2013). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

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