Alcohol dependency is probably one of the most terrible and hard-to-solve problems for many people. Some so many families suffer because of inabilities to control human behavior and wishes and are under the influence of alcohol that is defined as a dangerous legal drug (Hepworth, Rooney, Rooney, 2009). In this paper, the case of a 38-year-old welder Jed is considered. He addresses the treatment center after being secondly arrested because of a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol). Jed does not want to have more problems because of his alcohol dependency, still, he cannot find enough powers to control his life, develop good relations with his family, and be understood by his peers. This is why he needs urgent help that has to be based on thoughtful assessment and diagnosis. Alcohol and drug issues may vary, and it is crucially important to understand the situation before taking some particular steps and making decisions; and Jed, at least, understands that he has a kind of drinking dependency and should be provided with professional care to save his life and not to lose respect in society and family.
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First of all, several steps to assess the client and the whole situation have to be taken as usually the alcohol use history may be rather chaotic and extensive (Miller, 2010). In this particular care, the following actions are required:
The counselor has to understand that each client is unique and has his/her history; in this case, Jed is a regular alcohol user who cannot stop drinking just because to change something and improve his life, this is why it is necessary to understand that some powerful arguments should be used.
Taking into consideration the fact that it is his second arrest and his family has several complaints about his drinking, this case is all about drug dependency but not simple use or abuse.
It is obligatory to interview the client and get to know as many interesting and useful facts from his life as possible. The following questions should help assess the client:
- What makes the client drinks so much?
- Are there any possible alternatives for drinking?
- Whom does he like to drink with? Why?
- Does he want to stop drinking? Why?
- When was it last time he used alcohol?
The counselor should remember that the interview should be organized in a friendly manner so that the client will be eager to share his emotions and thoughts. It is not necessary to create some boundaries or to divide the roles. The counselor has to become a friend who wants to help from a professional perspective.
The assessment of the client’s behavior is also required; the counselor can make a deal with the client about the limit of using alcohol. In case the limit is exceeded, the counselor should demonstrate to the client that he has certain problems which need to be solved as soon as possible to overcome unpleasant outcomes.
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It is also necessary to observe that Jed’s alcohol dependency has genetic roots. His father drank a lot, and he died because of his inability to control the use of alcohol. This fact may be used to open Jed’s eyes and define the problem.
Medical examination may be also used. It will help to determine the problem and see how the client’s body reacts to frequent use of alcohol and what happens when the level of alcohol in the body is lower than usual.
With the help of such assessment, both, the client and the counselor will be able to comprehend that some problems exist and some steps have to be taken further to solve the problems. One of the most important steps, the identification of the problem, is made. Jed realizes that his situation is dangerous: he could lose his job, his family, his friends, and his freedom for some time. To avoid such outcomes, Jed has to agree to be treated and fight against his desire to use alcohol.
The next stage of treatment is the identification of the steps in diagnosing the client. They are as follows:
- The CAGE questions may be asked to understand whether it is just a warning signal of alcohol dependency, whether the client has a kind of alcoholic abuse, or whether the client is addicted (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2008).
- The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test is possible for the client to take. With the help of a pencil-and-pen test, the client will evaluate the situation and help the counselor to diagnose him. As a rule, 10 minutes are required for such kinds of tests.
- The FAST test (Miller, Strang, & Miller, 2010) may be used in this case to diagnose alcohol misuse using routing activities and events. The client has to answer the questions within a short period. With the help of such a test, the stage of alcohol dependence will be identified and used to treat the client properly.
These three steps are to be taken in a certain order to make sure the diagnosis is correct. It is not enough to rely on the results of one test only, this is why a choice and different nature of questions should help to understand what particular problems are observed and which methods are more appropriate in a particular situation. As soon as the assessment is made and the client is diagnosed, it is possible to introduce a working hypothesis with the help of which further cooperation with the client will be developed.
Working hypothesis. A 38-year-old welder has certain problems with alcohol which lead to inabilities to control the client’s life, his relations with his family, and his personal needs; he suffers from alcoholic dependency that is on the genetic level as his father had the same problems before his death. The client recognizes that his problems and dependency influence his life, this is why he is ready to take some measures, still, certain control, motivation, and arguments are obligatory in this situation.
Jed is a man who is dependent on alcohol and its impact on the human organism. It is not enough to identify the problems and admit that some treatment is required. It seems to be more important to focus on the psychological, social, and cultural aspects of Jed’s life because the problem is that he is now aware of how he can explain to his friends that he cannot drink with them anymore and to his employer that he has some problems with the court again. Alcohol is the drug that ruins human lives within a short period without any evident symptoms, this is why more control and powerful argumentation are obligatory in this case.
Capuzzi, D. & Stauffer, M.D. (2008). Foundations of Addiction Counseling. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Hepworth, D.H., Rooney, R.H., Rooney, G.D. (2009). Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Miller, G. (2010). Learning the Languages of Addiction Counseling. Hoboiken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Miller, P.G., Stang, J., Miller, P.M. (2010). Addiction Research Methods. Hoboiken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.