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Application: Substance Abuse Interventions

Discussion – Week 9

Application: Substance Abuse Interventions

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Substance use is another common problem among many adolescents. An important consideration is severity of use—mild, moderate, or severe—which helps counselors distinguish reductions or increases in frequency of use, as well as potential physiological impacts. For example, an adolescent might drink alcohol every weekend to the point of intoxication but not become chemically dependent. An adolescent who is using heroin on a daily basis is likely to develop a physiological dependency on the drug, and to require detoxification as part of the treatment process. Treatment for any level of severity can be a long process, and there are several things to consider. First, treatments must be individualized to meet the needs of the child or adolescent. Second, treatment needs to be accessible and address an array of issues beyond just the substance abuse. For example, an adolescent trauma survivor might be using substances as a coping mechanism. In order to maintain sobriety, the trauma issues must be addressed. Third, counselors must continually monitor and update treatment plans, monitor for changes in substance use frequency and amount, and facilitate both individual and group counseling. Fourth, a child or adolescent must stay in treatment for an extended period of time, whether it is outpatient or inpatient. Treating substance use takes time, particularly if the child or adolescent does not believe he or she has a problem. Finally, substance use treatment should include monitoring of medical conditions such as infectious diseases, as many adolescents tend to become promiscuous when using substances. Keep in mind that recovery from substance use is a life-long process. Relapse rates are very high for adolescents, and it is important to encourage them to engage in a life-long commitment of sobriety.

For this Application Assignment, select one of the substance use case studies (Case Study #3 or Case Study #4) located in this week’s Learning Resources. Devise a treatment plan, including a diagnosis, intervention, and prevention technique for the child or adolescent. Consider how you might include the parents/guardians in the treatment plan.

The assignment (2–3 pages):

  • Select one substance use case      study studies (Case Study #3 or Case Study #4). Identify a provisional      diagnosis for the case you selected.
  • Using the Treatment Plan      Guidelines template, devise a treatment plan for the case study you      selected.
  • Explain one treatment      intervention you might use in the case you selected, and justify the use      of the intervention.
  • Explain one intervention you      might use to prevent relapse and one intervention you might use to involve      the parents/guardians in the treatment plan.
  • Justify your treatment plan      using evidence-based research.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

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Required Resources


  • Flamez, B. & Sheperis,      C. J. (2015). Diagnosing      and treating children and adolescents: A guide for clinical and school      settings. Hoboken, NJ: John      Wiley & Sons, Inc.

o Chapter 15 “Gender Dysphoria”

o Chapter 17 “Substance-related Disorders”

  • Hermann, M. A., & Herlihy,      B. R. (2006). Legal and ethical implications of refusing to counsel      homosexual clients. Journal of Counseling & Development,84(4),      414–418.
         Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Horn, S. S. (2006). Heterosexual adolescents’      and young adults’ beliefs and attitudes about homosexuality and gay and      lesbian peers Click for more options . Cognitive Development21(4),      420–440.
    © 2006 by ELSEVIER SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY JOURNALS.      Reprinted by permission of ELSEVIER SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY JOURNALS via      the Copyright Clearance Center.

         Reeves, T. Horne, S. G., Rostosky, S. S, Riggle, E. D. B., Baggett, L. R.,      & Aycock, R. A. (2010). Family members’ support      for GLBT issues: The role of family adaptability and cohesion Click for more options . Journal of GLBT      Family Studies6(1), 80–97. 
    © 2010 by TAYLOR & FRANCIS INFORMA UK LTD. Reprinted by      permission of TAYLOR & FRANCIS INFORMA UK LTD. via the Copyright      Clearance Center.

  • Ryan, C., Russell, S. T.,      Huebner, D., Diaz, R., & Sanchez, J. (2010). Family acceptance in      adolescence and the health of LGBT young adults Click for more options . Journal of Child and      Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing23(4), 205–213.
    © 2010 by BLACKWELL PUBLISHING. Reprinted by permission of      BLACKWELL PUBLISHING via the Copyright Clearance Center.
  • Document:Child and Adolescent      Counseling Cases: Sex, Sexuality. and Substance Abuse Click for more options
  • Document:Treatment Plan Guidelines Click for more options
  • DSM-5 BridgeDocument:Sex, Sexuality, and      Substance Abuse Click for more options

Optional Resources

  • Burrow-Sanchez, J. J. (2006).      Understanding adolescent substance abuse: Prevalence, risk factors, and      clinical implications. Journal of Counseling & Development84(3),      283–290.
         Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Castellanos-Ryan, N.,      O’Leary-Barrett, M., & Conrod, P. (2013). Substance use in childhood      and adolescence: A brief overview of developmental processes and the      clinical implications. Journal of the      Canadian Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 22(1),      41–46. 
         Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Lemoire, S. J., & Chen, C.      P. (2005). Applying person-centered counseling to sexual minority      adolescents. Journal of Counseling & Development83(2),      146–154.
         Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Tan, E. S. N., & Yarhouse, M. A.      (2010). Facilitating congruence between religious beliefs and sexual      identity with mindfulness. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research,      Practice, Training47(4), 500–511.
         Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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