Assignment: Substance Abuse Interventions
Substance use is another common problem among many adolescents. An important consideration is severity of use—mild, moderate, or severe—which helps clinicians distinguish reductions or increases in frequency of use, as well as potential physiological impacts. For example, an adolescent might drink alcohol every weekend to the point of intoxication but not become chemically dependent. An adolescent who is using heroin on a daily basis is likely to develop a physiological dependency on the drug, and to require detoxification as part of the treatment process. Treatment for any level of severity can be a long process, and there are several things to consider. First, treatments must be individualized to meet the needs of the child or adolescent. Second, treatment needs to be accessible and address an array of issues beyond just the substance abuse. For example, an adolescent trauma survivor might be using substances as a coping mechanism. In order to maintain sobriety, the trauma issues must be addressed. Third, clinicians must continually monitor and update treatment plans, monitor for changes in substance use frequency and amount, and facilitate both individual and group counseling. Fourth, a child or adolescent must stay in treatment for an extended period of time, whether it is outpatient or inpatient. Treating substance use takes time, particularly if the child or adolescent does not believe he or she has a problem. Finally, substance use treatment should include monitoring of medical conditions such as infectious diseases, as many adolescents tend to become promiscuous when using substances. Keep in mind that recovery from substance use is a lifelong process. Relapse rates are very high for adolescents, and it is important to encourage them to engage in a lifelong commitment of sobriety.
For this Assignment, select one of the substance use case studies (Case Study 3 or Case Study 4) located in this week’s resources. Consider a treatment plan, including a diagnosis, intervention, and prevention technique for the child or adolescent. Think about how you might include the parents/guardians in the treatment plan.
- Select one substance use case study (Case Study 3 or Case Study 4).
- Complete the Treatment Plan Guidelines template provided in this week’s required resources based on the case that you selected.
- Week 9: Case 3, Substance Use
Marcus is a 15-year-old boy who was seen 2 weeks previously in the emergency room
for a huffing incident. While his parents were away and after Marcus had mowed the
lawn, he put the lawn mower and gasoline back into the shed and began sniffing
gasoline. His parents came home and discovered him passed out in the shed next to
the gasoline can and immediately transported him to the hospital emergency room.
Marcus was treated and released, and his parents were concerned, but Marcus insisted
this was a one-time incident. However, the next week his parents found several aerosol
cans in their son’s room.
During his first session, Marcus admits to sneaking around and huffing whatever he can
whenever he can. He reports feeling out of control. He says he loves the instant high
and cannot help himself.