Jerry has been a daily heroin user for the last 7 years. He is HIV positive and
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Jerry has been a daily heroin user for the last 7 years. He is HIV positive and has recently been diagnosed with hepatitis C. Jerry believes that both of these illnesses were contracted through the use of shared needles. As a condition for treatment of hepatitis C with interferon, Jerry must agree to undergo treatment for his heroin addiction. He is considering the “methadone cure,” which includes daily doses of methadone to replace the heroin. He is not sure that he is willing to give up his heroin use. In fact, he used immediately before coming to his most recent counseling session. Jerry feels torn, but he knows that his life depends on this choice. What might be some compelling information for a client in this situation to know? What is your role as a mental health professional in advocating for treatment?
For this Discussion, review the case studies in the Learning Resources and select one case study. Consider the factors used to determine the appropriateness of the medication used to treat a client’s substance abuse.
By Day 4
An explanation of the factors that indicate the appropriateness of the medication in potentially treating the client’s substance abuse
An explanation of the expected side effects of the medication and the mental health professional’s role in monitoring these side effects
A justification of the medication to advocate for its use to encourage the client to continue with treatment
Case 1: Constantine
Constantine is a 28-year-old Turkish immigrant. He has been told that he must stop
drinking or his life will be in jeopardy. Constantine moved to the United States at 18 to
study economics. During his first year of college, he tried alcohol for the first time and
was quickly “hooked.” He drinks nightly and cannot recall how many drinks he has had.
Constantine says that he drinks, “at least a bottle of scotch” every night. Over the past
10 years, he has come to realize that he has a problem. This was not an urgent issue
until recently, when he developed pancreatitis. His doctor informed him that his drinking
has already caused some damage to his liver, which is very “fatty.” In fact, there are
some areas of his liver that may never recover, even if he stops drinking. If he does not
stop, though, he will eventually either need to have a liver transplant or he will die from
complications of cirrhosis.
Constantine decided to take his doctor’s advice and will be participating in a daytreatment program at your counseling clinic. He tried to quit drinking once in the past,
and his blood pressure skyrocketed. Constantine worries that this might happen again.