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The Crushing of the Grapes; Treating Individuals with Alcohol Problems
Since the crushing of the first grapes alcohol has been a societal problem, hindering the well-being of individuals and families. Unable to avoid media reports and encounters with shattered clients, I became intrigued by mental health practitioners’ ability to treat individuals with alcohol problems. My quest for knowledge led me to examine how well the academic community is preparing master’s level social workers to effectively work with those suffering from alcoholism.
Out of curiosity I surveyed the social work curriculum offered at 19 New York State based universities. The survey revealed that only 57% of the universities in New York State offer MSW programs. Eighty-one percent of the universities that offer MSW programs do not require a course on alcohol and substance abuse be completed as a degree requirement and only 42% offer an alcohol and substance abuse course as an elective.
Survey results imply that it is highly possible for social work students, graduating from universities based in the State of New York, to complete their MSW programs and not know any more about alcohol or alcohol related problems than they did when they entered the programs.