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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:

  • Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct

  • NAADAC Code of Ethics

  • The media titled Starting the Process. Consider the behavior of the addictions professional in the media in the context of the codes of conduct established by the APA and the NAADAC. Think about the effect of ethics violations on the development of the relationship between the addictions counselor and the client.

    Post by Thursday 3/2/17 a 300 word response which includes the following:  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.

    Answer all components in the assignment as there are usually several. These can serve as your headings in APA format. Using these headings will help keep your paper organized, ensure you cover all objectives, and enhance readability. You may find that if you bullet-point these requirements and refer to them as you write, you will address all of the portions of the question.