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Assignment 1a


There is much controversy that surrounds the etiology of addictions. Some theories suggest that addiction is related solely to genetic factors, while others identify environmental factors as the primary influences on addictive behavior. Most contemporary theories support the idea that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to substance addiction. However, there is still much debate about this in the field.


Use the module readings and the Argosy University online library resources to research chemical substance addiction.


Select a category of chemical substances with addiction potential (for example, alcohol, stimulants, or opiates). In this assignment, you will examine this selected substance in detail.


  • How might a person become addicted to that category of chemical substance? Describe the process.
  • What are the various genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of substance addiction as related to that category?


Support your responses using your readings and authoritative resources. Incorporate theory and factual information in your response such as examples of research findings related to addiction.


Write your initial response in 2–3 paragraphs. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.


This is due tomorrow 11/15/14


Assignment 1b


When conducting an evaluation, it is also important to consider the client’s demography as a possible contributing factor.


Use the module readings and the Argosy University online library resources to research methods of recording case histories.


Create a case history for a person with an addiction that clearly traces contributing factors. Do not include identifying information. At this point, do not include details of any mental illness that would constitute a dual diagnosis. Be sure to cover the following components in your case history:


  • Demographics – including age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, marital status, number and ages of children, living arrangements, and religion if applicable
  • Family background
  • Education
  • Employment
  • History of chemical use
  • Description of the current problem (include history of previous treatment, if any)


After completing the case history, consider ethical standards in relation to this client. What potential ethical issues exist or may come into play with this client? Be sure to include at least one ethical issue. Explore multiculturalism, duty to report/warn, and confidentiality. For example, if the client has children, explain how duty to report may come into play when working with this client.


Write a 3–4-page report in Word format. Not including Title and Reference pages. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.


This is due Monday 11/17/14


Assignment 2a




Jennifer has a long history of substance abuse dating back to her early adolescent years. After several bouts with co-occurring depression at the age of twenty-four. Jennifer decided to enter treatment for her substance abuse. While in treatment, she worked on her urges, the thought processes surrounding her use, and specific behavioral techniques to change her use-related patterns. At thirty- six she achieved sobriety through the twelve model of recovery. Her efforts had paid off. However, the damage she caused during the height of her use began to gradually present itself. She had to face people she had hurt in relationships, pay debts she had accumulated, and serve sentences for crimes she had committed during that period of time.


By the age of thirty- eight, she had worked through many of these experiences and was starting a new career. She admittedly embellished her resume to get the job, and lied about previous experience. She justified this with her belief that “everyone pumps up their resume” to find work. She did not consider the potential consequences for this decision. As time passed, Jennifer settled into her position and was maintaining her sobriety as she planned to do after leaving treatment. She soon felt ready for a relationship. It is well known that the twelve- step model of recovery recommends having a year of sobriety before entering a relationship. Jennifer had easily accomplished this particular task, so she felt prepared by the twelve-step model`s standard. She developed a fulfilling relationship with a man who had recently been divorced due to his wife`s substance abuse issues. Jennifer never disclosed her issues because she did not want to jeopardize the relationship. She found no harm in this decision because, after all, she was not like his previous wife because she had achieved sobriety.


A few months into the relationship, Jennifer and her boyfriend went to a work party where there was alcohol was being served. Alcohol was not her substance of choice, so Jennifer thought there would be no harm in having a cocktail with her new boyfriend. The effects were devastating. After consuming the cocktail, Jennifer consumed four more drinks that lead to her relapse and a weeklong cocaine binge. Her boyfriend was unprepared for her behavior and left her immediately after he found out about her substance use problem. Her boss began looking into her background because of her weeklong absence as well as some inconsistencies between the work skills she displayed and what she reported on her resume.


Jennifer was eventually able to convince her boyfriend to give the relationship a chance by thoroughly explaining her treatment success and the fact that “relapse is expected” in recovery. She begged for his forgiveness citing all the good times they had shared and her belief that they were perfect for each other. He agreed to reconcile the relationship. She did not have the same success of convincing her boss of her suitability for the job and was released from the company. Her boyfriend moved her into his home and supported her until she found a work. She was able to maintain her sobriety for another year before she began stealing money from his bank account. He forgave her again due to her ability to rationalize actions. She continued her actions for many years into their relationship.


Denial is one of the most challenging defense mechanisms used by individuals with addictions. This term has been familiar to the substance abuse treatment nomenclature for many decades. It applies when a substance abuser denies the existence or severity of his or her problem. Treatment for clients in denial is typically challenging. In these cases, the focus of intervention is on helping the client acknowledge the problem. The only way treatment will be successful is if the client recognizes the existence or extent of the substance abuse.


The contemporary perspective is that denial occurs in the “pre-contemplative” stage of the change process (Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992). The denial of clients in this stage is not confronted as it was in older forms of treatment. It is viewed as a necessary beginning on the journey to sobriety. Addressing the denial requires encouraging the client to identify the ill effects as well as the perceived benefits of his or her substance abuse. The client in this stage will attempt to work toward finding internal motivation to change based on the insight gained about the effects of his or her use pattern.  


Use the module readings and the Argosy University online library resources to research denial used as a defense mechanism.


Download and review the case study.


Respond to the following:


  • How is the use of denial by the substance-abusing client evident in the case?
  • What other ways might substance-abusing individuals display denial?
  • What approaches could you use to work with the client in the case study?


Support your responses using your module readings and authoritative resources. Incorporate theory and factual information in your response.


Write your initial response in 2–3 paragraphs. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.


This is due Thursday 11/20/14


Assignment 2b


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was originally developed in 1952 to help doctors and counselors across the country standardize the classifications of mental disorders in the American population. Throughout the intervening years, the DSM has gone through several revisions, establishing specific diagnostic criteria for each disorder listed, and revising disorders as more was understood about their origins, symptoms, and treatments. The DSM III (1980) marks the point when substance use disorders were moved to a category of their own, separate from personality disorders. Today, the current DSM lists the diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders.


While these standardized diagnostic practices have been in use for more than sixty years, there are some pros and cons in the use of the DSM diagnoses of substance use disorders in the assessment of clients.


Complete the following requirements:


  • Evaluate, in detail, the pros and cons of using DSM diagnoses as the primary classification structure for clients with substance use disorders.
  • Examine the assessment types used to diagnose clients with substance use. Choose two of these assessments that would not only help to diagnose the substance use disorder, but would also assess the whole person. Explain them fully.
  • Compare and contrast the two assessments chosen regarding how they will evaluate the whole person and not just the specific DSM diagnostic criteria.
  • Justify the value of using assessments that evaluate the whole person rather than just the specific DSM diagnostic criteria.


Use scholarly resources to support your work.


Write a 3–4 page paper in Word format. Not including Title and Reference page. Apply APA standards to citation of resources.


This is due Monday 11/24/14


Assignment 3a


The stages of change model suggests that clients who are in the process of changing addictive behavior move through successive stages, from limited insight to maintenance of change. These stages will be presented by the client’s attitudes and behaviors. It is the job of the clinician to identify the correct stage and employ specific interventions for the treatment to be successful. Most clients opting for an assessment will likely be in the early stages of change.  


The major tenets of motivational interviewing were designed to provide clinicians with tools to facilitate the change process in clients. Extensive research supports its effectiveness and it has become the standard in the past decade. These techniques are grounded in the client-centered approach rather than the confrontational approach to substance abuse treatment used in previous decades.


Use the module readings and the Argosy University online library resources to research motivational interviewing and the stages of change model.


Download and review the case study.


Case Study – John


John is a longtime alcohol abuser who has managed to function in his job as a shipping foreperson for more than twenty years despite his problem. Last month John`s company instituted a new company policy that required all employees to submit to random urine screens. John tested positive the first time he submitted his urine drop. His company referred him for an assessment that had to be conducted before he was allowed to return to work.


As the substance abuse evaluator, you are responsible for identifying whether or not a drinking problem exists and for recommending any necessary treatment. John presents in your office the next day with frustration related to his suspension from work. Although he understands the position of his company, indicating that many of “those guys there have drinking problems,” he is surprised that the company “is being this harsh on him.” He denied having a problem because he “does not drink everyday like some of those guys.”


You discuss with John his perception of his drinking as well as the company`s decision to refer him for an assessment and treatment. As the session proceeds, you agree that John is probably not dependent on alcohol. However, you introduce the probability of abuse, given the history you were provided, and his admission to “getting hammered” most days he is drinking. You explain that his drinking behavior resulted in the presence of alcohol in his urine form the previous night at home. You explore this with John in an effort to help him identify some of the consequences of his drinking, even though he is not alcohol dependent. This allows John to focus on the potential consequences of his alcohol use pattern.


Respond to the following:


  • Explain factors for determining the client’s stage of change and identify which stage of change the client is in.
  • What two motivational interviewing techniques would be helpful in assessing substance abuse in this case? Give reasons and explanations.


Support your responses using your module readings and authoritative resources. Incorporate theory and factual information in your response.


Write your initial response in 2–3 paragraphs. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.


This is due Thursday 11/27/14


Assignment 3b


In your professional capacity as a substance abuse counselor, you are not permitted to give diagnoses for mental disorders other than those related to substance abuse. However, you will likely be exposed to clients with mental health disorders in the assessment or treatment process. The competent substance abuse evaluator will be able to identify clients who present mental health disorders and make the appropriate referrals. Providing appropriate referrals for clients is common in the substance abuse field.


In Assignment 1b, you developed a case history for a person with an addiction. In this assignment, you will develop a case history and include one mental disorder. The inclusion of a mental disorder in your case study will aid in the examination of co-occurring disorders. You will then present your diagnosis and referrals.


This assignment has two parts. Complete both parts.


Part I


Create a case history for a person with an addiction and a mental disorder. Do not include identifying information. Include the following elements in your case history:


  • Demographics—including age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, marital status, number and ages of children, living arrangements, and religion if applicable
  • Presenting problem
  • Previous psychiatric treatment of patient
  • Previous chemical treatment of patient
  • Chemical history
  • Medical history—including disabilities if applicable
  • Work and education history
  • Legal or financial concerns
  • Family background
  • Concerned person involvement
  • Referral source


Part II


Analyze the case history and present your diagnosis as related to substance use disorders. Include the following in your diagnosis:


  • Summarize key case study elements you would use to formulate a diagnosis and guide your treatment plan.
  • Identify at least two assessment tools that you would use to formulate a diagnosis. Justify why you have selected these tools.
  • State your diagnosis related to substance use disorders. Justify your reasons for your diagnosis.
  • Identify other concerns and offer recommendations and referral opportunities. Justify your reasons and explanations.


Write a 3–4-page report in Word format. Not including title page and reference page. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.


This is due Monday 12/1/14


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