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Social and Caring Professions in European Welfare StatesPolicies, Services and Professional Practices$
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Björn Blom, Lars Evertsson, and Marek Perlinski

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447327196

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447327196.001.0001

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Professional dilemmas of defining a problem: the case of addiction treatment1

Professional dilemmas of defining a problem: the case of addiction treatment1

Chapter:
(p.161) Eleven Professional dilemmas of defining a problem: the case of addiction treatment1
Source:
Social and Caring Professions in European Welfare States
Author(s):

Joakim Isaksson

Daniel Törnqvist

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447327196.003.0011

This chapter analyses how a problem, such as the use of narcotics, can be defined as both a social and a medical problem, and how different definitions of a problem may cause professional dilemmas for welfare professions involved in treatment. The chapter examines implications of the fact that these different problem definitions originate from two different academic disciplines: medicine and social science, and that the social perspective on drug abuse is currently challenged by what some describe as a medicalization of social problems. The chapter argues that welfare professionals need to understand and recognise both these perspectives.

Keywords:   narcotics, professional dilemmas, medicalization, welfare professionals, medicine, social science

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