Co-Occurring clients are often in treatment for substance use and mental health disorders. Their treatment is trickier than those who only have one of these disorders. For this assignment, you will research the complicated relationship between mental health and substance use disorders. For example, clients diagnosed with mood disorders often turn to alcohol or illicit substances to regulate their moods.
Select one of the hypothetical client scenarios. Briefly summarize the scenario and propose some health problems that the client might have as a result of his/her illicit drug/alcohol use. Research the interaction between the drug use and the mental health disorder use your textbook and three other academic sources to support your ideas. Explain how the drug directly affects the person’s nervous system.
First Part: Select a scenario
Darren is a 24-year-old male who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Bipolar Disorder. He was diagnosed with ADHD at age seven by pediatric neurologist and started to take stimulants to reduce the impulsivity. During his late high school years, he became violent with his mother. He suffered mood swings that did not seem related to the ADHD. His psychiatrist and psychologist added Bipolar Disorder to his diagnosis. He was prescribed antidepressants in addition to his other medications.
He was able to develop skills to manage his attention without medication. He stopped taking stimulants for his ADHD. However, he continued to take medications for the Bipolar Disorder diagnosis. These included Abilify and Clonidine. Darren did not like taking either of those drugs, so he began to experiment with using a combination of marijuana and cocaine to manage his moods. Darren is now addicted to using marijuana and feels that he cannot function without it.
Darren needs treatment for his drug use, but will also need help with his bipolar disorder symptoms too. He lives with a girlfriend who has threatened to move out if he does not get treatment soon. He wants to change, but insists that his marijuana use is the only thing that stabilizes his moods.
Rhonda is a 32-year-old mother of two young children who has a history of depression (including post-partum) and alcoholism. She smokes two packs of cigarettes a day and drinks the equivalent of two bottles of wine a day. She was initially diagnosed with depression as a teenager. From the age of 13 to 18, she used self-injury to alleviate her stress and depression. She received treatment and stopped cutting. However, she began drinking and smoking in place of cutting.
Rhonda suffered intense periods of depression after the birth of both children. Her doctor prescribed Prozac and Wellbutrin at different times. She did not think that the medications worked very well, so she often took double doses of her medications along with wine. She continued to see a therapist during these times, but did not reveal that she was drinking.
Rhonda was referred to treatment because of a Driving Under the Influence arrest. She revealed that she has been drinking and smoking cigarettes throughout the day to treat her depression. She does not think that her medications work. Her husband will support her recovery as long as she promises to stop drinking and take her depression medication.
Part One (about two pages)
- Summarize the scenario explaining why the client is considered “dually diagnosed.”
- Using your research, explain the health problems that can occur from using the specifically mentioned illicit drug/alcohol. What are the effects on the body/brain?
Part Two (about two pages)
- Using your research, explain how the specific illicit drug/alcohol impacts the person’s mental health disorder (e.g. someone diagnosed with anxiety and takes a stimulant will have increased anxiety).
- Explain the specific problems that exist in treating the dual diagnosed (e.g. setting for treatment, interventions, medical treatment).
This is an essay so be sure you are weaving the answers to the questions into a well-written academic essay. The viewpoint and purpose should be clearly established and sustained. The writing should be well ordered, logical and unified, as well as original and insightful. The essay should be 1200 words (not including the title and reference page) supported by current research, and formatted according to the most recent edition of the APA manual.
You must demonstrate college-level communication through the composition of original materials in Standard English.