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Practice in Mental Health-Substance Misuse

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8 October, 2012

Title: Practice in Mental Health-Substance Misuse

Edited By: David B Cooper

Published by: Radcliffe Publishing

Reviewer: Michaela McAndrew, community mental health nurse

What was it like?

This is one of a series of six books that explore the interface between substance misuse and mental health. This particular volume focuses on practice in this field. The first seven chapters concentrate on the substance used and its impact on mental health and how this can be addressed, for example there is a chapter on alcohol, one on nicotine, one on cannabis.The second section of the book focuses on the different types of service user that may present to services and how their life stage or experiences may impact on their mental health and substance use, for example older adults, young adults and people who are experiencing PTSD. The final chapters relate to specific therapeutic approaches. Each chapter includes some information, an explanation about how this affects the individual and some self-assessment and case study work to allow the reader to apply the information to a practical setting.

Practice_in_mental_health_Cover

What were the highlights? 

For me the highlight is the chapter regarding dialectical behaviour therapy and its use in this area as this is still relatively new and while I have heard this is an area under research, it is the first time I have come across it in this type of workbook.

Strengths & weaknesses:

I feel the layout of the book is user friendly, the exercises and case studies are particularly useful and enable an easy application of the theory to settings that are often encountered in practice. The acknowledgement of the interface between substance misuse and mental health services is also refreshing as many textbooks start from the “perfect world” scenario, this one acknowledges the challenges and difficulties. The only weakness I felt was that some of the exercises were possibly below the understanding level of the professionals the book was aimed at.

Who should read it?

The foreword explains that the series of books are written for mental health and substance misuse professionals in an attempt to bridge the gap that exists between these services. While this would be the obvious audience, I feel that this volume in particular would be useful to nurses in primary care settings and also in emergency settings.

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