Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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496 pages
6 x 9 inches
April 2016
Print ISBN: 9781551308913


Substance Use and Abuse provides both students and practitioners in the field of addiction counselling with a foundational knowledge of psychoactive drugs. With its emphasis on the bio-psycho-social components of addiction, this text is essential reading for both beginning and experienced addiction counsellors and social workers. Among the critical topics discussed are concepts and theories of addiction, the major types of psychoactive substances, treatment options and resources, and numerous prevention strategies. The book concludes with an informative chapter on the legal, ethical, and practice requirements for becoming a competent addiction counsellor.

This thoroughly updated second edition reflects contemporary issues and recent advances in the field of addiction counselling. New sections examine fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and solvent abuse syndrome, drug treatment courts, various new drugs including bath salts and synthetic cannabis, and emerging treatment options such as internet counselling, narrative therapy, and e-cigarettes. Substance Use and Abuse is a timely and much-needed resource for both students and counsellors seeking to treat individuals dealing with addiction.

Related Titles

Table of Contents


1. Fundamental Concepts
1.1 Conceptualizing Addiction
1.2 Pharmacological Foundations
1.3 Pharmacokinetics
1.4 Incidence of Drug Use and Economic Implications

2. Theories on Addiction
2.1 The Moral Model
2.2 Biological Theories
2.3 Psychological Theories
2.4 Sociological Theories

3. Psychoactive Substances of Use and Abuse
3.1 Depressants
3.2 Opioids
3.3 Stimulants
3.4 Hallucinogens
3.5 Psychotherapeutic Agents
3.6 Final Considerations

4. Treatment Options
4.1 Pharmacological Therapies (Pharmacotherapy)
4.2 Individual Counselling
4.3 Intervention
4.4 Group Counselling
4.5 Family Counselling
4.6 Behavioural Counselling
4.7 Harm Reduction
4.8 The Transtheoretical Model of Change
4.9 Motivational Interviewing
4.10 Mutual Aid/Self-Help
4.11 Internet Counselling
4.12 Conclusion

5. Treatment Resources
5.1 Entry into the Addiction Continuum of Care
5.2 Addiction-Specific Resources
5.3 In-patient versus Community-Based Outpatient Care
5.4 Adjunct Resources
5.5 Relapse Prevention

6. Prevention
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Program Component Options
6.3 Effective Programming
6.4 Ineffective Programming
6.5 Family Programming
6.6 What Works
6.7 What To Do

7. Becoming a Competent Addiction Counsellor: Legal , Ethical , and Practice Considerations
7.1 Psychoactive Drugs and the Law
7.2 Ethical Considerations
7.3 Practice Considerations: Addiction Counsellor Competencies
7.4 Concluding Thoughts

Appendix A: A History of Psychoactive Drugs in Canada
Appendix B: A Global History of Psychoactive Drugs
Copyright Acknowledgements

Rick Csiernik

Rick Csiernik is a Professor of Social Work at King’s College, University of Western Ontario. Csiernik has authored and edited several popular Canadian Scholars' titles including: Just Say Know: A Counsellor's Guide to Psychoactive Drugs (2014), Workplace Wellness (2014); Responding to the Oppression of Addiction (co-edited with William S. Rowe, 2017); Substance Use and Abuse (2016); The Drug Paradox (with Tara Bruno, 2018), and Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Health (co-edited with Cheryl Forchuk and Elsabeth Jensen, 2011). The author of more than 100 journal articles, his research interests include addiction, employee assistance programming and workplace wellness, social work education, and program evaluation. Rick has been recipient of both the King’s University College Award for Excellence in Teaching and the McMaster University Instructor Appreciation Award.

Substance Use and Abuse, The Drug Paradox, Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Health, Just Say Know, Responding to the Oppression of Addiction, 2nd Edition, Substance Use and Abuse, Second Edition, Wellness and Work, Workplace Wellness, Responding to the Oppression of Addiction, Third Edition, The Essential Guide to Psychoactive Drugs in Canada, Second Edition, Poverty, Mental Health, and Social Inclusion, Substance Use and Misuse, Third Edition


"Substance Use and Abuse presents a comprehensive look at the current field of addiction from a uniquely Canadian perspective. This foundational text delivers the big picture of our broad addiction continuum and supports it with a wealth of detail for further reflection. A valuable resource in the classroom and beyond."
—  Christie McGaghran, Program Manager, Addiction Education Program, Centre for Continuing Education, McMaster University

"This is a very detailed Canadian publication that captures the overall subject of substance use and addiction. Whether you are a student, educator, frontline worker, or other professional working in the helping fields of addiction treatment, counselling, or prevention, this book is for you. The format of this book is well-organized not only to provide accurate information for the student or educator but also to act as a handy quick reference tool for the experienced frontline worker."
—  Tom Gabriel, EFAP Consultant, Crisis and Addiction Counsellor, Toronto Police Association

Instructor Resources

Instructor’s resources include comprehensive PowerPoint slides that provide lecture guides for each chapter and an instructor's guide.

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Student Resources

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