Social Work In The Addictions

Degree Program: Social Administration/ Social Work Pathway (7th semester – compulsory)

Teaching hours: 3 per week-ECTS 5

Course Tutor: Charalampos Poulopoulos, Associate Professor


Subject and Course Description

The course presents the basic principles and approaches in understanding addiction. The course aims at critical reflection on addiction aetiology and the various intervention models. Treatment and prevention models are presented in relation to assessment of outcomes and cost-effectiveness. Early treatment drop-out, stages of change from addiction to recovery and abstinence, social integration and relapse prevention are discussed. The course also focuses on the role of the family in treatment effectiveness. Primary prevention at schools and community interventions are also presented.

Topics Outline

-Aetiology of drug and alcohol abuse

-Diagnosis and treatment planning

-Treatment models and approaches

-Individual therapy, group therapy and therapeutic communities-historical development and social context

-Detoxification, Abstinence, Social Integration: Methods and Techniques in Therapeutic Communities

-Adolescence and Drug Use

-The stages of change from addiction to abstinence and recovery

-Relapse Prevention

-Assessment and Evaluation of Intervention

-Family and addiction

-Primary Prevention

-The role of the social worker


By the End of the Course, Students should be able to:

-Critically analyze the aetiological factors of addiction

-Understand the tools and methods of addiction diagnosis and treatment planning

-Critically reflect on various models of intervention

-Analyze the pros and cons of self-help, mutual help and therapeutic communities model of intervention

-Differentiate clearly between abstinence, detoxification, recovery and social integration

-Critically relate adolescence with onset of drug use, delinquency and school dropout

-Analyze the stages of change from addiction to recovery including motivational interviewing and relapse prevention.

-Analyze assessment, evaluation, treatment effectiveness and cost-effectiveness

-Link family patterns with addiction and recovery

-Understand the role of primary prevention and intervention with schools, communities, teachers, parents and children.

-Reflect on the role of the social worker as care provider and raise issues of professional burnout.


1) Final written examination or

2) Final written examination in conjunction with a written paper