Discussion: Over-Treatment and Under-Treatment of Addiction
The term levels of treatment refers to a continuum arranged by intensity of treatment. The levels of treatment range from the least to the most intense and aggressive approaches. The American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Patient Placement Criteria (PPC), the most frequently used and studied treatment levels classification system, divides the intensity continuum into four levels (Mee-Lee & Gastfriend, 2008). The PPC starts with Level I, outpatient treatment, which includes the least aggressive approaches. The system increases incrementally in intensity ending with Level IV, intensive inpatient treatment.
The appropriate level of treatment is determined by many factors, including the severity of addiction, prior treatment history, and the unique needs of the individual receiving the services. It is often desirable to try the least intrusive and restrictive level of treatment appropriate, as long as the individual’s safety is not jeopardized. Other important factors must also be considered when determining the appropriate level of treatment, such as the need to continue earning a living or raising a family and the individual’s stage of readiness for treatment (Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992). Knowledge of the levels of treatment may help an addiction professional determine the most appropriate levels of care based on the unique needs of each individual. Over-treatment and under-treatment of addiction can interfere with a client’s progress on the path toward recovery and result in adverse consequences.
For this Discussion, review this week’s readings. Then review the media and reflect on how the counselor employed the continuum of levels of treatment in the counseling session with Marge. Consider potential consequences of over-treating or under-treating Marge.