Clinical Work with Substance-Abusing Clients

Third Edition

Edited by Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner

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December 12, 2013
ISBN 9781462512843
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562 Pages
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ISBN 9781462512690
Price: $59.00
562 Pages
Size: 6⅛" x 9¼"
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562 Pages
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A leading professional resource and course text, this book provides practical guidance for treating clients with substance use disorders in a variety of contexts. Expert contributors present major assessment and treatment approaches together with detailed recommendations for intervening with particular substances. Clinical techniques are clearly explained and illustrated with helpful case examples. Important topics include harm reduction; strategies for working with family members; and ways to meet the needs of specific populations, including women, adolescents, older adults, LGBT clients, and those with frequently encountered co-occurring problems.

New to This Edition

“A richly designed text and resource tool for graduate counseling students as well as the novice and seasoned professional substance abuse therapist. This book takes a multidimensional approach to assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for today's substance abusing clients with specific emphasis on diverse populations....Dr. Straussner pools experts in the addiction field who offer an easy-to-read clinical guide of systematic strategies and methods for intervening in a world rough with the negative impact of alcohol and other drugs on individuals, families, communities, and the criminal justice system....This book will prove to be an asset to any graduate counseling curriculum, as well as an excellent reference guide for substance abuse counselors and other mental health practitioners.”

Family Journal (on the second edition)

“Straussner has created an excellent practical reference….The inclusion of material on practice in general and substance abuse settings makes the book applicable to many ers….Each chapter presents a clear conceptual framework that informs practice, and most chapters include case examples. The book includes enough information on different types of substance abuse to communicate how treatment must be adapted for different drugs of abuse.”

Social Work (on the first edition)

“A comprehensive, readable account of the issues encountered by professionals working with people who abuse substances....this is a welcome core text, relevant to practitioners requiring an introductory knowledge of the issues but also as a resource for experienced workers who specialize in this area of practice.”

British Journal of Social Work (on the second edition)

“The concise and straightforward manner in which information is presented allows the editor to make the book simple and readable while covering an extensive range of theoretical material. The book can be read in its entirety by students and newcomers to the field or selectively by those interested in particular chapters....I have no hesitation recommending this book to psychiatrists, mental health workers, addiction clinicians, and especially psychiatry residents and medical students as an informative, comprehensive, and clearly and concisely written textbook.”

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (on the second edition)

“Much has changed in the addictions treatment field in recent years, and Straussner's third edition superbly reflects these changes. The book includes revised terminology consistent with DSM-5, up-to-date statistics, and new chapter topics that help make this one of the most comprehensive books available. I highly recommend this text to faculty members teaching courses in substance abuse treatment. It is sure to enhance the practices of beginning and experienced clinicians alike.”

—Katherine van Wormer, MSSW, PhD, Department of Social Work, University of Northern Iowa

“Practitioners, educators, and students will find this book to be exceptionally helpful, whether or not substance use disorders are their primary practice area. Straussner has brought together national experts who are at the forefront of this increasingly complex field. New chapter topics include the neurobiology of addiction, trauma-informed care, alternative medicine approaches, and more. Clinical vignettes are included in each chapter. This is a state-of-the-art resource.”

—Melinda Hohman, PhD, School of Social Work, San Diego State University

“A magnificent book. Interweaving empirical information and practical 'how-tos' (where the rubber meets the road), this is the perfect text or desk reference for substance abuse practitioners and nonspecialists alike. The third edition incorporates current definitions, trends in substance use, and intervention directions. It provides a foundation for clinical practice that is second to none.”

—Lori K. Holleran Steiker, PhD, ACSW, School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin

“Straussner has assembled an impressive lineup of experts to cover some of the most crucial issues in treatment of substance use disorders. This is a valuable resource for clinicians in training or practice, particularly since the content has a strong applied focus. The diversity of viewpoints makes the book an interesting read. It will certainly be relevant for many years.”

—Brian Perron, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Michigan

“Straussner captures the most recent developments in the rapidly changing field of addictions, including the implications of DSM-5, evolving evidence-based practices, trauma-informed care, and the neurobiology of addictions. The book's focus on special populations and co-occurring disorders is timely as the field moves toward integrated care. I highly recommend this text for use in the classroom. Students in our addiction counselor training program have found it extremely useful for their work in the field.”

—Darcy Clay Siebert, PhD, School of Social Work, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

“The book zeros in on the drugs most often abused in recent years and highlights specific intervention methods. Complicated concepts, historical trends, and current theories are explained clearly and concisely. No extraneous information is included—if it's in the book, it's important for the reader to know. I especially appreciate the third edition's expanded focus on family dynamics and interventions. Students in master's and postmaster's programs will find this book readable, informative, and motivating, as will experienced clinicians who want to update their skills.”

—Maryann Amodeo, PhD, LICSW, Co-Director, Center for Addictions Research and Services, Boston University School of Social Work

Table of Contents

I. An Introduction to Clinical Practice with Clients with Substance Use Disorders

1. Assessment and Treatment of Clients with Substance Use Disorders: An Overview, Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner

2. Neurobiology of Substance Use Disorders and Implications for Treatment, Audrey Begun and Suzanne Brown

II. Assessment and Intervention with Individuals Dependent on Different Substances

3. Assessment and Treatment of Individuals Dependent on Alcohol and Other Central Nervous System Depressants, Philip O'Dwyer

4. Assessment and Treatment of Individuals Dependent on Opioids, Ellen Grace Friedman

5. Assessment and Treatment of Individuals Dependent on Stimulants, Armin R. Baier, Edgar E. Coons, and David M. Ockert

III. Varying Perspectives on Intervention with Clients with Substance Use Disorders

6. Motivating Clients with Substance Use Disorders through the Helping Process, Meredith Hanson and Nabila El-Bassel

7. The Clinical Practice of Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, Belinda Seiger

8. Intersection between Trauma and Substance Misuse: Implications for Trauma-Informed Care, Shelly A. Wiechelt

9. Working with Mandated Clients with Substance Use Disorders: A Solution-Focused Approach, Kathryn C. Shafer and Sara A. Smock Jordan

10. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for People with Addictions, Bruce S. Liese

11. Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Treating Clients with Substance Use Disorders, Judy Fenster and Leslie J. Temme

12. 12-Step Programs as a Treatment Modality, Christine Huff Fewell and Betsy Robin Spiegel

IV. Assessment and Intervention with Families

13. Family Treatment of Individuals with Substance Use Disorders, Catherine M. Lemieux

14. Treating the Partners of Individuals with Substance Use Disorders, Elizabeth Zelvin

15. Dynamics and Treatment Issues with Children of Individuals with Substance Use Disorders, Roberta Markowitz

V. Special Issues and Special Populations

16. Assessment and Treatment of Clients with Co-Occurring Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders, Shelley Scheffler

17. Assessment and Treatment of Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders, Audrey Freshman

18. Assessment and Treatment of Older Adults with Substance Use Disorders, Kathleen J. Farkas

19. Assessment and Treatment of Women with Substance Use Disorders, Patricia A. Pape and Stephanie Elias Sarabia

20. Assessment and Treatment of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients with Substance Use Disorders, Evan Senreich and Elena Vairo

21. Assessment and Treatment of Drug-Using Individuals with HIV/AIDS, Larry M. Gant

22. Assessment and Treatment of Co-Existing Substance Use Disorder and Process Addictions: Eating Disorders, Pathological Gambling, and Sexual Addiction, Nicole Zmuda

VI. Looking toward the Future

23. Practice and Policy Issues: The Changing Landscape, Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner

About the Editor

Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner, DSW, LCSW, is Professor and Chair of the Practice Area at the Silver School of Social Work, New York University, where she is Director of the Post-Master's Certificate Program in Clinical Approaches to Addictions. In 2013, Dr. Straussner was awarded the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Social Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, the highest level of Fulbright awards given to a U.S. academic. Previously, she was a Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and was inducted as a Distinguished Scholar into the Social Work Academy of The National Academies of Practice. Dr. Straussner is the author or editor of numerous articles and books, including Ethnocultural Factors in Substance Abuse Treatment, and is the founding editor of the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions. She serves as a consultant to hospitals, agencies, and other organizations in New York; lectures on a variety of topics throughout the United States and abroad; and has a private therapeutic and supervisory practice in New York City.


Armin R. Baier, JD, LCSW, Parallax Center, Inc., New York, New York

Audrey Begun, MSW, PhD, College of Social Work, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Suzanne Brown, PhD, LICSW, School of Social Work, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Edgar E. Coons, PhD, Department of Psychology, Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, New York

Nabila El-Bassel, DSW, Global Health Research Center of Central Asia, Columbia University, and Social Intervention Group, School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York, New York

Kathleen J. Farkas, PhD, LISW-S, The Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Judy Fenster, PhD, LCSW, School of Social Work, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York

Christine Huff Fewell, PhD, LCSW, CASAC, Silver School of Social Work, New York University, New York, New York, and private practice

Audrey Freshman, PhD, LCSW, CASAC, Continuing Education and Professional Development and Postgraduate Certificate in Addictions, School of Social Work, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York

Ellen Grace Friedman, PhD, LCSW, CASAC, HOPEline, Mental Health Association of New York City, and Silver School of Social Work, New York University, New York, New York

Larry M. Gant, LMSW, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Meredith Hanson, DSW, PhD Program, Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, New York, New York

Sara A. Smock Jordan, PhD, LMFT, Department of Community, Family and Addiction Services, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

Bruce S. Liese, PhD, ABPP, Department of Family Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas

Catherine M. Lemieux, PhD, MSW, ACSW, LCSW-BACS, School of Social Work, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Roberta Markowitz, LCSW-R, Oakwood Center, White Plains, New York

David M. Ockert, PhD, Parallax Center, Inc., and School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York, New York

Philip O’Dwyer, EdD, LMSW, Counseling Department, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, and Brookfield Clinics, Garden City, Michigan

Patricia A. Pape, LCSW, CAADC, Pape & Associates, Wheaton, Illinois

Stephanie Elias Sarabia, PhD, LCSW, LCADC, School of Social Science and Human Services, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah, New Jersey

Shelley Scheffler, PhD, LCSW-R, Center for Excellence in Integrated Care, Northeast and Caribbean Addiction Technology Transfer Center, National Development and Research Institutes, New York, New York

Belinda Seiger, PhD, LCSW, Princeton University Counseling Center, and Great Minds Gifted and 2E Counseling and Resource Center, LLC, Princeton, New Jersey

Evan Senreich, PhD, LCSW, CASAC, Department of Social Work, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, New York

Kathryn C. Shafer, PhD, LCSW, CAP, 500RYT, Limitless Potentials, Inc., Jupiter, Florida

Betsy Robin Spiegel, LCSW, Blanton Peale Counseling Center, New York, New York, and private practice

Shulamith Lala Ashenberg Straussner, DSW, LCSW, CEAP, BCD, CAS, Silver School of Social Work, New York University, New York, New York

Leslie J. Temme, PhD, MSW, Social Work Department, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina

Elena Vairo, PhD, LCSW-R, New York City Department of Education, and Silver School of Social Work, New York University, New York, New York

Shelly A. Wiechelt, PhD, LCSW-C, CCDC, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland

Elizabeth Zelvin, LCSW, CASAC, private practice, New York, New York

Nicole Zmuda, MSW, LSW, Marworth Treatment Center, Waverly, Pennsylvania


Practitioners, instructors, and graduate students in clinical social work, counseling, clinical psychology, psychiatry, and psychiatric nursing.

Course Use

Serves as a text in such courses as Social Work Practice with Addictions, Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling, Addiction Treatment, Substance Abuse Treatment, and Psychology of Substance Abuse.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

Second Edition, © 2004
ISBN: 9781593852894

First Edition, © 1992
ISBN: 9780898621938
New to this edition: