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Role as a mental health professional in advocating for treatment

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 STUDY******
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.