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Pocket guides on problematic substance use launched by BASW

A series of five pocket guides providing information about issues around substance abuse has been produced by BASW’s Special Interest Group (SIG) on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

Dr Sarah Galvani, chair of the BASW’s interest group in alcohol and drugs, and one of the editors of the series, said:
“Social workers are not expected to be specialists in substance use in the same way alcohol and drug specialists are not expected to be social workers, but we do still need to know enough to confidently ask about its effects on our clients and families.
“People with problematic substance use are some of the most marginalised and excluded members of our society. The way they interact with their families and their wider social environment can create conflict and tension, and the shame and stigma attached to their abuse of alcohol and other drugs often leads to difficult situations being suppressed until they reach crisis point.” 
Writing on the Guardian Social Care Network, Dr Galvani poses the question of why so many social work degrees are leaving students uneducated about problematic substance use.
“Alcohol and other drug issues are a central part of much of social work practice, and if key issues in this area are missed, interventions linked to other behaviours or problems will not be so effective," she said.