Sample Paper on Community Service for Drug and Alcohol Addicts

Community Service for Drug and Alcohol Addicts


Drug and alcohol abuse is a worldwide problem that affects the addicts, those close to them, and the community alike. It involves virtually all facets of a person’s life whether at work, school, and home with their family, or out in the community. As Madden (2013) affirms, due to the sophistication and insidious ramifications of drug and alcohol abuse, a number of stakeholders are involved in a bid to control the situation. The community services available for drug and alcohol abuse seek to restore addicts present in the community to their productive state in order to help their families, and the community. Therefore, this report will discuss the service, and the relevant stakeholders involved therein, using real examples as they apply in contemporary society.

Background Setting    

The government of the United States is on the forefront to fight against drug and alcohol abuse in communities. According to Swartz (2012), most street crimes reported in American cities are either drug or alcohol related, and are on the rise. In addition, Gerber and Jensen (2014) state that because of the increase in poor work productivity and inconsistency in company performance, they end up losing a lot of money. Ideally, community service for drug and substance addicts is one of the many programs initiated and funded by the government to help addicts. It targets addicts regardless of age to provide care, treatment and support – both pharmacological and psychosocial – and helps with social and other related needs so that people can reintegrate into their communities (Wilson & Kolander, 2011). The provision of this service encompasses a wide array of health and social care professionals in a bid to meet the targeted groups at their point of need(s).

Target Group           

According to Stephens, Scott, and Muck (2012), drug and alcohol abuse account for over 20 per cent of the total population in the United States.  Teenagers as young as 12 years old engage in substance abuse and their addiction increases as they go without proper rehabilitation services.  Leukefeld, Gullotta, and Gregrich (2011) unveiled that these epidemic levels of drug and alcohol abuse have  indeed led to a number of problems, such as, increased mental health problems, violent crimes, low productivity, and school dropouts among teenagers. However, what is more worrisome is the cost of treatment and other services required to help addicts.  America spends over $800 billion to counter the consequences of addiction annually (Leukefeld, Gullotta, & Gregrich, 2011). In particular, most individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol suffer from a number of health problems, including a weakened immune system, cardiovascular conditions, and liver damage among others. Similarly, Frydl (2013) explains that they may suffer from mental issues and behavioral problems.  This makes service for drug and alcohol addicts essential to help such individuals in any way possible such as regain their productive status and improve their health as well as wellbeing.

Type of Service

Community services for drug and alcohol addicts target individuals in various communities irrespective of their ethnic background, age, or other different factors. This service approaches drug and alcohol addiction from several perspectives in relation to the individual identified. Rather than focusing on a person’s addiction, the service distracts from that by focusing on the individual’s work and positive aspects of it to draw the person away from substance abuse. As Buchbinder and Shanks (2011) reveal, this helps them to develop a positive attitude towards work hence improving productivity. It also helps them to become more responsible not only for themselves, but also in regards to others, including their families and the community they live in. The service targets not only those involved in substance abuse, but also those close to them, and trains them in how to help their friends and family members live a sober life. As far as treatment for drug and alcohol disorders are concerned, the service stresses the provision of appropriate counseling, behavioral therapy, medication, case management, and other forms of rehabilitation services to individuals (Gerber & Jensen, 2014).

Gaps in the Service Provision

Most drug and substance addicts arrive at rehabilitation centers where they undergo drug and alcohol detoxification, treatment, and addiction therapy. This alone does not help them to live sober lives, as 10 per cent of addicts who undergo rehabilitation return to drug and alcohol abuse in the United States (Swartz, 2012). These facts highlight the gaps in the services provide at rehabilitation centers, which lead to inefficiency. For instance, according to Gideon & Sung (2010), rehabilitation centers focus mainly on drug addicts. They disregard family and friends in the immediate sphere of the addict rather than train them to help their friends or family members. However, community-based services for alcohol and substance abusers identify this gap by involving the addict and those close to them for long-term effect.


Knowledge, Skills, and Capabilities Required

This service requires professionals with vast knowledge, skills, and capabilities in both public health, and community service delivery.  Wilson and Kolander (2011) reiterates that, effective communication skills, strong work ethic, teamwork skills, interpersonal, and problem solving capabilities are essential for effective service delivery of this kind. Additionally, public health nursing knowledge and capabilities are crucial for both the staff and volunteers in this service. This is also in line with other professional bodies associated with this service model.


In conclusion, community services for drug and alcohol addicts approaches the problem at its source while involving all the relevant stakeholders. The government should engage the various resources available to help in developing a better society that is drug and substance free, and where people drink responsibly to avoid the many negative impacts associated with this menace.

















Buchbinder, S. B., & Shanks, N. H. (2011). Introduction to Health Care Management. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Burke, R. E., & Friedman, L. H. (2011). Essentials of Management and Leadership in Public Health. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Frydl, K. (2013). The Drug Wars in America. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

Gerber, J., & Jensen, E. L. (2014). Drug War American Style: The Internationalization of Failed Policy and Its Alternatives. London: Routledge.

Gideon, L., & Sung, H.-E. (2010). Rethinking Corrections: Rehabilitation, Reentry, and Reintegration. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.

Leukefeld, C., Gullotta, T. P., & Gregrich, J. (2011). Handbook of Evidence-Based Substance Abuse Treatment in Criminal Justice Settings. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Science & Business Media.

Madden, J. S. (2013). A Guide to Alcohol and Drug Dependence. Amsterdam : Elsevier.

Stephens, R. C., Scott, C. K., & Muck, R. D. (2012). Clinical Assessment and Substance Abuse Treatment: The Target Cities Experience. New York: SUNY Press.

Swartz, J. (2012). Substance Abuse in America: A Documentary and Reference Guide. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO.

Wilson, R., & Kolander, C. (2011). Drug Abuse Prevention. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.