Topic: Substance Abuse

For this essay, you may choose one (1) of the following 4 topics:

  1. Treatment of alcohol disorders: How effective are psychological interventions for individuals experiencing alcohol-related disorders? In your essay, you may consider how we define successful treatment outcomes (e.g. reduction vs abstinence), outcomes other than changes in drinking behaviour (e.g. physical and mental health, work etc) and how lasting such changes are over time.
  2. Treatment of comorbid conditions: What are the challenges for psychologists and other clinicians working with individuals who have comorbid substance use problems and mental health issues? What are some of the current best practice strategies for treatment of these individuals?
  3. Drugs and the law: There is ongoing debate in Australia about how as a society we could better respond to illegal drugs and the associated harm. One frequently raised option is decriminalisation of drug use and possession, particularly with regard to cannabis. In this essay, you should define decriminalisation, explain what the research evidence tells us about decriminalisation and outline the arguments for and against decriminalisation of cannabis in Australia.
  4. Binge drinking: Recent studies have shown that almost half of young Australians engage regularly on risky drinking behaviour such as binge drinking. Describe the current state of binge drinking in Australia, and outline some suggestions (from the literature) about how we can create a safer drinking culture.

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