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Person With an Addiction: Mr. Smith Case Study

Introduction

Addiction is a term that refers to the area of practice that embraces the interests of the individuals who handle alcohol, cocaine, other drugs and gambling-associated predicaments. In addition, addiction refers to a general reference of a certain form of behavioral problem pattern or predicaments encountered. In this case, addiction is mostly comprehended to refer to predicament behaviors or encounters that prevail for people despite their wish and cooperative attempts to get rid of them. In general, addiction refers to an unhealthy association between an individual and a mood-changing substance, encounter, situation or activity that plays a part in life predicaments and their reoccurrence (Biopsychosocial, 2000, p.2). In this case, this paper will examine the issues involved and possible interventions for a person with an addiction. In addition, the paper will explore the roles of family, societal influence, and trauma on the person with an addiction.

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Mr. Smith case study

History states that the practice of abusing drugs has been a great predicament for several years. Despite the persistent war against substance abuse, individuals continue to abuse substances which leads to drastic problems in people’s lives. People are addicted to different forms of substances such as alcohol, opioids, marijuana, hallucinogens, prescribed drugs and cocaine (Chen, Storr & Anthony, 2009, p. 320). For instance, Mr. Smith has been consuming alcohol for the last fifteen years and as a result, the man has become an alcoholic addict (drug addict). Thus, drug addiction refers to a practice of persistent or continuous inebriation generated by a recapitulation intake of substances such as alcohol. Its features are as follows; physical and

psychological reliance of the substance, an overpowering crave or desire to continue consuming the substance, a trend to raise the amount of consumption and dangerous consequences (Morse & Flavin, 1992, p. 1012-1013).

Issues that Mr. Smith is undergoing through

Mr. Smith has become an alcoholic and as a result he is undergoing several issues that have affected his life negatively. Since he has been drinking for the last fifteen years, he has developed physical health consequences such as liver cirrhosis, sexual dysfunction and nutritional deficiencies. Other effects that have resulted due to Mr. Smith consuming high amount of alcohol include depression and anxiety disorders, panic disorder and confusion. In addition, other issues associated with the case of Mr. Smith are social consequences such as domestic violence, assaults, loss of employment and financial constraints.

The above physical effects have affected his health tremendously and as a result he is not in a position to work effectively in his farm or any other employment in case he gets one. High amount of alcohol consumption is both harmful to the body and the functioning of the brain. Therefore, psychological welfare can be drastically affected by the large amount of alcohol consumption and long-term consequences of misuse (Dunn, 1999, p. 170-171). Psychiatric illnesses like anxiety disorders, depression disorders among others are very common in long-term consumption. Similarly, social predicaments resulting from alcoholism might be enormous because of the severe clinical alterations in the brains due to long-term misuse of alcohol and due to the intoxicating impacts of alcohol (Schuckit, 1983, p. 1025).

Mr. Smith’s issues of domestic violence and assaults started approximately seven years ago. This is because of the mental impairment and behavior change which greatly affects his friends and family leading to him quarreling with his wife and as a result ends up fighting her (Cosci, Schruers, Abrams & Griez, 2007, p. 876-878). His family has been destabilized by such practices since he cannot set aside some time to be with his family. The worst of it happened five years ago when he lost his job and became jobless. Thus, he could not afford enough money to take care of his family and buy his alcohol. Therefore, for him to sustain his consumption, he started stealing people’s property in his community. Moreover, loss of employment led to financial constraints for the entire family since the wife is not employed, thus, since they could not afford to pay for the house rent, they ended up shifting to a smaller house although they still strain to get the house rent. Moreover, Mr. Smith had to change his children from the school they were in, to a day school which does not perform well.

Roles played by the family, society and trauma

A family plays a great role in the life of an alcohol addicted person like Mr. Smith. The family in which Mr. Smith was brought up was a dysfunctional family. Mr. Smith was raised by parents who were both consuming alcohol and as a result he embraced the practice too. Mr. Smith’s parents didn’t have respect for their children since they could come home while they are drunk and calling all sorts of names without fearing their children. In addition, his father always fought his mother thus; domestic violence was always present in their home. Moreover, both the parents used to come home with several bottles of alcohol in order for their children to consume. Therefore, Mr. Smith tasted alcohol when he was still young and this triggered his desire of consuming alcohol in future.

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There is no one who starts life anticipating to abuse substances. However, the practice is taught to someone. The person is taught that substance abuse is important, how to identify the effects of the substance and understand them as desirable. All these activities are achieved through the procedure of social interactions that are conducted via peer groups, ancestral feedback, mass media and other methods. Therefore, in the case of Mr. Smith, he was introduced into drinking act by his friends who were more experienced in the practice of alcohol consumption (Glavas & Weinberg, 2006, p. 167-168). Thus, in his childhood development, he was taught how to drink, the impact he had to look for and the reasons why people consume alcohol. In addition, in his childhood development he used to view in the media the success which people who consumed alcohol achieved especially during advertisement by the alcohol industries. The results of this social learning during Mr. Smith childhood development is that he learnt how to drink and eventually became an alcoholic. Thus, the anticipations of Mr. Smith started in his childhood and teenage stage as an outcome of several factors like being exposed to advertisements, peers influence, mass media and the parental chemical utilization behaviors.

After a traumatic situation, individual mostly start consuming alcohol in order to alleviate their feeling or symptoms of depression, anxiety and irritability. Alcohol might alleviate these feelings since drinking counterbalances for the inadequacies in endorphin action following an event that was traumatic. When an individual is exposed to a traumatic situation for some minutes, the endorphins level in the brain raises. At the period of the trauma, the levels of endorphin remain raised and aid insensitive the physical and emotional pain caused by the trauma. Nevertheless, when the trauma is over, the levels of endorphin gradually decline and this might result to a time of endorphin backdown, which might stay for several hours or days. This time of endorphin back-down might generate emotional distress and at the same time cause other symptoms of stress disorders. Since alcohol usage heightens the activity of endorphin, alcohol consumption after traumatic event might be utilized to correct the endorphin back-down and hence, obviate related emotional distress (Volpicelli, Balaraman, Hahn, Wallace & Bux, 2010, par. 1).

Mr. Smith was brought up in a harsh surrounding where he faced broad physical harassment by his alcoholic parents and later in an insulting scurrilous association. During one specific situation, he remembered being beaten ruthlessly by his father and then locked in a room where he bled for several hours without any help. In addition, he remembered when he was sexually abused by one of his close relatives between the ages of ten and fifteen. When Mr. Smith was seventeen years old, he was admitted in a hospital and in his stay there, he got engaged into a sexual association with a female patient. Following the above encounters, Mr. Smith started abusing alcohol in order to forget all those experiences. From that time, Mr. Smith continued to drink alcohol claiming that it would assist him to sleep and suppress or bottle up nightmares regarding the physical or sexual harassment. Moreover, it would help him in reaction to the traumatic events he mostly faced in daily life.

People are referred to as social animals and the act to begin using substances is dependent by the social group and community where the person belongs or dwells. There are several manners in which the person’s ethnical tradition may influence his or her substance utilization. These are; the common cultural surrounding, the particular society where the person lives, the sub-ethnics that are found within the particular community, the family or peer impact and the context in which the chemical is being used (Doweiko, 2008, p. 7).

Alcohol consumption is a common practice in the current societies. It is normally believed that in every social gathering people have to consume alcohol, though individuals consume it in excess amount (Rehabilitation, 2009, par. 2). One of the contributing factors that led Mr. Smith to start drinking alcohol while he was still young is because of its availability within the community where he was born. In addition, in every social gathering he attended people could consume alcohol including the children (Enoch, 2006, p. 195-197).

Individuals, who face low self-esteem and are not comfortable with the situation they are in, have a greater chance of becoming addicted in a certain substance. They utilize chemicals in order to create or enhance pleasure or to minimize the persistent emotional pain or feeling they dwell with. A society which is poor contains individuals who face low self-concepts and are not happy with their current situation. Therefore, most of them result into abusing chemicals (Friends of Narconon, 2010, par. 2). Mr. Smith was brought up by poor parents and they lived in a poor environment or society. Therefore, they were feeling bad about their situation and that’s why the parents were abusing alcohol and as a result Mr. Smith also adopted the practice.

Intervention strategies

Since Mr. Smith has become an alcoholic, and the practice has negative effects in his life, there is need to implement some strategies which will help him improve his live. The two promising intervention strategies that can help him reduce or stop abusing alcohol include prevention and treatment strategies. Promising and applicable strategies to reduce chemical abuse are intended to give the societies important information on effective attempts to minimize abuse and associated predicaments nationwide, and to help people in choosing programs and strategies which will successfully handle their particular requirements.

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Successful prevention strategy is significant in the society in order to stop chemical abuse like alcohol for the case of Mr. Smith. The effects of alcohol abuse mostly go beyond an individual level, to family, colleagues and community at large. Prevention strategy may include activities like dissemination of information in order to increase the level of information on consequences of substance abuse and prevention education. In addition, there is problem recognition and referrals for individuals who have been using drugs, community-based procedures where the entire community is involved in prevention of drug abuse and environmental approaches where policies are developed which curb substance abuse (Gujadhur, 2000, p.3).

Secondly, there is the treatment strategy. Services provided by chemical abuse medication programs are different. The four types of treatment provided under this category include; outpatient methadone programs, long-term residential programs, short-term inpatient programs and out-patient programs. This is the most expensive strategy of reducing addiction though it improves the health of an individual and reduce the cost of drug-associated diseases. Therefore, with treatment, individuals can get rid of chemicals, get employed and be more productive within the community (U.S. Department of Justice, 2000, p. 13).

The above two strategies arise from the biopsychosocial model which centers its interest on the variety of the customer requirements, strengthening the significance of both customer-interested medical activities and the supplying of several program alternatives. In addition, the model is persistent with the modern addiction study and health behavior hypothesis, and promotes health promotion and prevention actions based on population health model.

Best intervention strategy for Mr. Smith

Therefore, the best intervention strategy for Mr. Smith is the treatment strategy since he has already become an addict and has developed health problems like liver cirrhosis. Thus, for him to reduce alcohol abuse, treatment strategy must be implemented. The tenets of treatment strategy include; multiple treatment, treatments must be readily available, counseling and behavioral therapies. The main purpose for choosing treatment strategy is because the method handles several needs like medical, social, psychological, legal and vocational problems which Mr. Smith is experiencing currently. In addition, other components of successful treatment strategy include behavioral therapies and counseling (Wetterling & Junghanns, 2000, p. 485).

Treatment strategy has advantages and disadvantages that are associated with it. Advantages are as follows; after treatment one can obtain a job, the abuser’s health is improved, the cost of drug-related medical cost are lowered and the strategy can solve multiple problems. Moreover, treatment and services offered are evaluated continuously and changed if need be to make sure that the services fulfill the person’s altering needs. Also, the individual is supposed to remain in treatment for a suitable or appropriate time in order to receive effective treatment. However, there are disadvantages which include; high cost is required in order for one to receive all the necessary treatment. In addition, since the treatment strategy could not have been Mr. Smith choice, it might be difficult to retain him in the rehabilitation center for a long time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, substance abuse is a common problem facing the communities and nations at large, and has severe effects to an individual, family, society and the country. There are several factors that contribute to substance abuse and they include; family, societal influences and trauma among others. Therefore, in order to assist the families and societies in solving the problem of alcohol abuse and other illicit substances, promising and applicable strategies that can reduce chemical abuse should be implemented.

Reference List

Chen, Y., Storr, L.. & Anthony, C. (2009). Early-onset drug use and risk for drug dependence problems. Addict Behave, 34 (3): 319–22

Cosci, F., Schruers, K., Abrams, K. & Griez, J. (2007). Alcohol use disorders and panic disorder: a review of the evidence of a direct relationship. J Clin Psychiatry, 68 (6): 874–80.

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Doweiko, E. (2008).Statement of the problem of substance use disorders. Concepts of Chemical Dependency.

Dunn, N. (1999). Psychiatric aspects of alcohol misuse. Hospital medicine. London, England : 1998) 60 (3): 169–72.

Enoch, M. (2006). Genetic and environmental influences on the development of alcoholism: resilience vs. risk. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1094: 193–201.

Friends of Narconon. (2010). What Causes Addiction? Web.

Glavas, M. & Weinberg, J. (2006). Stress, Alcohol Consumption, and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. In Yehuda S, Mostofsky DI. Nutrients, Stress, and Medical Disorders. Totowa, NJ. Humana Press.

Gujadhur, T. (2000).alcohol abuse intervention strategies for rural (Bushmen) settlements embarking on cbnrm. Practices report ojp. Web.

Morse, M. & Flavin, D. (1992). The definition of alcoholism. The Joint Committee of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the American Society of Addiction Medicine to Study the Definition and Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alcoholism. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 268 (8): 1012–4

Rehabilitation. (2009). Social Issues and Alcoholism. Web.

Schuckit, M. (1983). Alcoholism and other psychiatric disorders. Hosp Community Psychiatry, 34 (11): 1022–7

U.S. Department of Justice. (2000). Promising Strategies to Reduce Substance Abuse. Web.

Volpicelli, J., Balaraman, G., Hahn, J., Wallace, H. & Bux, D. (1999). The Role of Uncontrollable Trauma in the Development of PTSD and Alcohol Addiction. Journal Article Excerpt. Web.

Wetterling, T. & Junghanns, K. (2000). Psychopathology of alcoholics during withdrawal and early abstinence. Eur Psychiatry, 15 (8): 483–8.

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