From the 1920s to the 1950s social workers were not focused on helping alcoholic or drug-dependent people. Instead back then they worked with the spouse of the chemically dependent person. Juvenile drug use was not investigated until 1952. In 1957 social workers were urged to help change public attitudes towards alcoholism. In 1970 legislation was passed that was to affect the delivery of services including social work services to alcoholic clients. Soon courses were offered at school about alcoholism.
Now social workers have many different techniques used when working with substance abusers. Social workers today encounter substance abuse across all fields. Views on substance abuse have changed greatly over the past 100 years. It used to not be as prevalent as it is now. Social workers only usually were concerned with adults but they did not realize that it starts with adolescents. The public is now more aware of the effects of substance abuse, they are able to help family member to get the right treatment for their addiction.
100 years ago there were not support groups for people with substance abuse. Now there are meeting such as AA that is available for alcoholics to go and talk about the addiction and these meeting help them in the recovery process. Social workers found that it was effective having the patients talk with other patients that have gone through the same process and experiences. Ronald Reagan helped promote these changes. He got funding set up to help get the police to stop the import and sale of illegal substances.
The amount of people going to jail with drug related charges started to go up. Insurance companies decided to help pay for substance abuse care that was delivered in the general hospitals. This though led to the closure of many residential treatment centers. There have been some positive and some negative changes. When social workers started to help people with substance abuse and meetings such as AA meeting were established it was very effective. I believe that substance abuse is something that is very important and needed much attention 100 years ago.
I also believe that when the police started to crackdown and stop the sale of illegal drugs that was effective. I did not think that is was a good chance when the insurance companies decided to only pay for help in only general hospitals. If anything they should be covering the stay at residential treatments centers. General hospitals only keep the patient for a few days and then they let them go, that is not enough time for substance abuse patients to get better. They would be better off in treatment centers where they are able to go through detox and meet with other patients.