R. S. is a 21-year-old, single, Caucasian male with a ninth-grade education. He reports that, due to his excessive use of drugs and alcohol, he was not able to attend school regularly. Even when he did go, he says he was so “stoned” that he could not concentrate on his studies. He even went to college for one semester, but he dropped out because he could not concentrate, and his bad memories kicked up when he recognized students and professors to whom he had previously sold drugs. This made him nervous, and he could not continue his studies.
He is currently unemployed; when he is employed, it is as an unskilled laborer. He says that because of his recent unemployment problems and only for financial reasons, he is now living with a close family friend.
According to R. S., he began using marijuana when he was 10 years old and has continued to use it on a regular basis for the past nine years. He further indicates that, whenever he attempts to abstain from using this illegal substance, he becomes so agitated that he loses control and sometimes becomes violent and promiscuous to relieve his tension. R. S. recalls recently being hospitalized for a fractured right hand, which he suffered as a result of losing control and punching a wall after a girl said she had become pregnant by him. In addition, he reports having been arrested several times for drug abuse, and that he has sporadically abused quaaludes and amphetamines in the past several years. R. S. says he has few friends in the “straight world,” and that this is due to his use of drugs. He would like to have nonabusing friends, but his situation feels normal to him; he believes nonaddicted friends are a thing of the past.
Task : Define what kind of an addiction this person has. Give a DSM diagnosis and your reasons for it. Explain one counseling approach and one technique you would use to intervene with this client.
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