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Substance Use Disorders

Abstract:

Basic competencies in assessing and treating substance use disorders should be core to the training of any clinical psychologist, because of the high frequency of risky or problematic substance use in the community, and its high co-occurrence with other problems. Skills in establishing trust and a therapeutic alliance are particularly important in addiction, given the stigma and potential for legal sanctions that surround it. The knowledge and skills of all clinical practitioners should be sufficient to allow valid screening and diagnosis of substance use disorders, accurate estimation of consumption and a basic functional analysis. Practitioners should also be able to undertake brief interventions including motivational interviews, and appropriately apply generic interventions such as problem solving or goal setting to addiction. Furthermore, clinical psychologists should have an understanding of the nature, evidence base and indications for biochemical