Discussion: Ethical Codes and Principles in Addictions Assessment

The assessment of an individual for a substance-related or addictive disorder is a sensitive practice. An addictions professional may be perceived as being in a position of power, and the client often is physically and emotionally vulnerable. A client in an addictions assessment may be concerned about the legality of the substance he or she is using or the type of gambling in which he or she is involved since gambling is not legal in all states. He or she may also be concerned about the confidentiality of personal experiences being discussed. In recognition of the sensitive nature of addictions assessment, professional associations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), two of the most recognized professional associations in the field of addiction, have established codes and principles of conduct. Addictions professionals who violate these codes and principles of ethics put at risk not only their clients but also their professional licenses, their reputations, and even their careers. Therefore, it is critical that addictions professionals familiarize themselves with the APA and NAADAC codes and principles and commit to following them in their daily practices.

To prepare:

Review the Learning Resources, including the following:

Post a description of one example from the scenario found in this week’s media that clearly demonstrates when the professional was following APA and NAADAC ethical codes and principles. Provide a second example from the scenario that demonstrates a lack of adherence to ethical codes and principles.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

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