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Models of Human Service Delivery

Essay by   •  February 23, 2014  •  Research Paper  •  1,385 Words (6 Pages)  •  6,211 Views

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The purpose of this paper is to highlight the three models of service delivery and the effects that they have on the treatment of alcoholism. First we will talk about the different models; medical, public health and human service, looking specifically at how they approach the issue of alcoholism and if there are strengths or weaknesses within each one. We will then look at two resources available to aide in the recovery of alcohol abusers and their families, Celebrate Recovery and Al-Anon Family Groups. We will focus on the purpose, meaning and mission of these resources, any changes that need to be made to address core issues and how they will make the changes needed.

In the United States, it is estimated that over eighteen million adults are affected by alcoholism or have alcohol abuse problems (NIAAA, 2013). There are three models of service that are used to deliver services to people and families affected by alcohol abuse. Each one of these models does so in different ways, offering help in different ways to meet the client's needs. The medical model views the person with alcohol abuse problems as a patient with a disease that needs treatment (Woodside; McClam, 2011). Under this model, the alcohol abuser is said to be sick and treatment is provided by a doctor. The strength of this model would be the options available to the patient given that a doctor is providing the treatment. The doctor provides treatment in the form of medications and dietary changes that support any physical needs they may have (Fisher, 2010). This provides the patient with supportive treatment that can help with any side effects that one has through detox and also prevent relapse long-term. The weakness of this model can be that it does not focus on the psychological needs of the patient. There are often events in a person's life that have caused them to turn to alcohol as an escape. Treating only the physical needs and not the psychological issues leaves that person still trying to find a way to deal with their past issues. This can lead to relapse, depression or other addiction issues. Also, the patient may feel that there is no hope being they were diagnosed with a disease. The opinion of some is that the medical model renders addiction as a progressive, incurable and fatal illness, leading to a self-defeating attitude for the person seeking help (Fisher, 2010).

The public health model is complex in that it borrows aspects from both the medical model and human services model. The public health model puts emphasis on a group aspect instead of on an individual one (Woodside; McClam, 2011). The strengths of the public health model would be that it is all-encompassing, focusing on the treatment and prevention of alcoholism. With this model, alcoholism is treated much like the medical model does providing treatment with medicine, but goes beyond that by delving into all aspects of why someone may become an alcoholic. It does so by studying the environment that surrounds the person in need, the person themselves and also alcohol (NRC, 1990). Social and environmental aspects are also considered and this model provides a catered message to the specific group encountering the problem (Woodside; McClam, 2011). It also provides broader services to both alcohol abusers and the public by taking the information learned and using it to educate and prevent the problem of alcohol abuse from spreading. Some example of how this is done are the use of pamphlets, public seminars, school activities and educational films (Woodside; McClam, 2011). Since the focus of the public health model is that of a larger scale, a weakness of this model could be the lack of individual attention given to a person in need. For example, if an alcoholic chooses to only attend group therapy session as treatment, they may struggle with getting or staying sober without knowing what they need personally to succeed.

The human service model focuses the person and the environment surrounding them and offers treatment to both areas (Woodside; McClam, 2011). The helper in this model would get to know the client as much as possible before an intervention would likely occur. They build a strong relationship with the client to ensure they are giving the most appropriate care possible and able to identify the client's strengths (Woodside; McClam, 2011). The strength of this model is in its ability to offer a supportive environment to the recovering alcoholic. This model would offer services to an alcohol abuser like counseling and rehabilitation, while also treating the environment; family and friends of the abuser (Woodside; McClam, 2011). Families and friends are offered counseling services as well as education on how to help prevent a relapse of their loved ones. By treating the individual and their families, it offers a more successful long-term outcome. I believe a weakness of this model is the time it takes to establish the connection needed to successfully treat an individual. Getting to know them as best as possible in extremely important, yet can cause issues when it comes to dire situations where an alcoholic needs immediate intervention or care.

The first example of a human service organization that can offer care to an individual suffering from alcohol

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