Practicum for Addiction Disorders Essay

Practicum for Addiction Disorders Essay

Assignment 2- Practicum – Week 6 Journal Entry

Learning Objectives

  • Assess clients presenting with Addictive Disorders
  • Analyze therapeutic approaches for treating clients with addictive disorders
  • Evaluate outcomes for clients with addictive disorders Practicum for Addiction Disorders Essay.

Students will:

  • Develop diagnoses for clients receiving psychotherapy*
  • Evaluate the efficacy of motivational interviewing techniques for clients*
  • Analyze legal and ethical implications of counseling clients with psychiatric disorders*

* The Assignment related to this Learning Objective is introduced this week and submitted in Week 7.

Select a client whom you observed or counseled this week. Then, address the following in your Practicum Journal:

  • Describe the client WITH Addictive Disorders (without violating HIPAA regulations) . SELECT AN OLDER ADULT IN A NURSING HOME
  • identify any pertinent history or medical information, including prescribed medications.
  • Using the DSM-5, explain and justify your diagnosis for this client.


  • Explain whether motivational interviewing would be effective with this client. Include expected outcomes based on this therapeutic approach. Support your approach with evidence-based literature.
  • Explain any legal and/or ethical implications related to counseling this client.

Describe the client WITH Addictive Disorders.

Peter is a 55 year-old male who has been brought into the emergency room by the nursing home nurse. On gaining consciousness, Peter reports that his last memory involved accessing his heroin stash hidden under his matters and snorting it to relieve his leg pain. He claims that he did not use heroin often, but he was desperate to relieve his pain since his prescribed pain medication was gone. Currently, Peter looks older than his age with an exhausted and wrinkled face. He admits that he is always in terrible pain and had no other option but to use heroin that he bought from dealers in the local park. He admits to being scare of his dependence on pain medication and heroin Practicum for Addiction Disorders Essay.

  • Identify any pertinent history or medical information, including prescribed medications.

For five years, Peter has suffered serial leg pain resultant from a previous bathroom accident that broke his left femur. An initial operation inserted a full length titanium rod to address the break. Currently, he is barely able to hobble around his home. Peter is currently taking prescription Vicodin and Atorvastatin (Lipitor), a Statin. Petersen (2013) mentions that Vicodin is pain medication, and it appears to be prescribed for Peter’s back pain. Smith (2017) explains that the medication is intended to reduce LDL cholesterol levels since previous medical tests determined that he had a high risk of a stroke or heart attack owing to the high amounts of LDL cholesterol in his blood.

  • Using the DSM-5, explain and justify your diagnosis for this client.

The patient appears to be suffering from opioid use disorder. That is because Vicodin and heroin are opioids, and Peter is heavily dependent on them to relieve his pain. Besides that, the client is aware that the use of heroin is illegal and dangerous to his life since he is asking for help, and yet continues using it. The diagnosis is based on DSM-5 criteria whereby the disorder would be evident if the use of opioids interferes with personal safety and responsibilities. The patient is aware that he could be arrested for using heroin and the use could also have negative health effects. Another criteria is excessive and compulsive drug use, conditions that hold true for the patient (Levounis, Zerbo & Aggarwal, 2016). In this respect, it can be concluded that based on DSM-5 criteria, Peter is suffering from opioid use disorder.

  • Explain whether motivational interviewing would be effective with this client. Include expected outcomes based on this therapeutic approach.

Motivational interviewing would be effective for this client. That is because he appears to know that his excessive use of heroin and Vicodin to manage the pain is a problem thus mentioning that he is seeking help. In fact, he is sure about the need for change. The interview would achieve three objectives in addressing the patient’s opioid use disorder. Firstly, noting that the patient’s dependent on opioids (heroin and Vicodin) to manage the pain is a problem. Secondly, getting him to give up the pain relief associated with the opioids use and exploring alternative strategies to manage the pain. Finally, exploring how to address the consequences of ceasing opioid use to include withdrawal effects (Brooks, 2015; Wheeler, 2014) Practicum for Addiction Disorders Essay .

  • Explain any legal and/or ethical implications related to counseling this client.

Counseling the patient has ethical implications for the patient, particularly with regards to confidentiality and trust expectations. The client trusts that any information he provides with not be disclosed to others. Additionally, practice standards include practice standards the demand confidentiality. The ethical issue comes about when the therapist has to make a decision on what information and how much of it can be presented to the client’s family as well as the police. The family would expect to be informed about everything concerning the client’s condition and treatment. The police would require information on the heroine traders. On the other hand, the client expects that the information would be kept confidential and the engendered trust not abused. The implication is that information would not be released unless with the express permission of the client (Gunn & Taylor, 2014). As such, the ethical concern is whether the family should be provided with information about the client’s psychiatric condition and treatment, the police should be offered information on heroin sales, and if it would be right to violate the confidentiality and trust expectations.


Brooks, T. (2015). Alcohol and public health. New York, NY: Routledge.

Gunn, J. & Taylor, P. (2014). Forensic psychiatry: clinical, legal and ethical issues (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Levounis, P., Zerbo, E. & Aggarwal, R. (2016). Pocket guide to addiction assessment and treatment. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatry Association Publishing.

Petersen, C. (2013). Vicodin and Oxycontin. Singapore: Cavendish Square Publishing LLC.

Smith, J. (2017). Statin nation: the ill-founded war on cholesterol, what really causes heart disease, and the truth about the most overprescribed drugs in the world. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Wheeler, K. (Eds.) (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company Practicum for Addiction Disorders Essay.




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