Strategies for Change in Substance Abuse: Bridging Community and Clinical Approaches

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Interventions for substance abuse problems in both community and clinical settings require considerations of epidemiology, natural course, and the personal processes necessary for behavior changes. In the community, public health approaches to effect positive health behavior changes are designed to use research and education, adoption of behavioral norms, and enactment of supportive legislation. Similar strategies can be used effectively in clinical settings; specifically, these may be empirically based assessments and feedback, treatment measures and environments that support sober functioning, and appropriate ground rules governing the conditions and expectations of treatment. Psychologists, using their unique academic and clinical training, can play key roles in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of both community and clinical interventions.

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