Discussion 1: Contributing to Community Recovery

Discussion 1: Contributing to Community Recovery

The damaging effects of disaster on mental health and the increased vulnerability to addiction of survivors are well documented. The most common conditions that follow a disaster are post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, grief, and an increase in substance abuse and addictive behaviors (Beaudoin, 2011; Cepeda, Valdez, Kaplan, & Hill, 2010; Johnson & Fendrich, 2009).

As a helping professional, it is essential that you become familiar with federal and local regulations that can impact your role in community recovery.

For this Discussion, review the two scenarios below. Choose one of the scenarios and reflect on the ways in which government and community organizations might contribute to the treatment of addiction.

Scenario A: You are the director of a local addiction treatment center in a West Coast metropolitan area that has experienced an earthquake of major magnitude. The earthquake has caused a large loss of life and destruction of property. The entire metropolitan infrastructure is disrupted, including transportation, sanitation, emergency medical care, and power. People are unable to get to work, children are unable to attend school, and people are confused and frightened. Many mental health and substance abuse facilities have been destroyed, so their services will be interrupted for a long time. A large number of citizens are left homeless, without jobs, and are dealing with the trauma of the event and loss of family and friends. The level of destruction is so vast and far reaching that it will be several months to a year before life returns to what the community could consider normal.

Scenario B: You are the director of a local addiction treatment center in a small Midwestern town of 20,000. A tornado has struck the community, cutting a path of destruction through the entire town and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. More devastating, the tornado has resulted in a huge loss of life, including the deaths of over 100 children who were in the local elementary school. Many families are left homeless and grieving over the loss of their property, businesses, friends, and loved ones. The loss of such a large number of children has a particularly serious impact on the emotional well-being of the town’s citizens.

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