Alcohol abuse discussion

An explanation of the factors that indicate the appropriateness of the medication in potentially treating the client’s substance abuse

The case study I chose was the case 1 Constantine. Constantine is a 28 year old Turkish immigrant. He is suffering from alcohol abuse. The first factor that indicate appropriateness is he was told he must stop drinking or his life will be in jeopardy. His drinking has already caused liver damage and some areas of his liver will never recover even if he stops drinking. If he does not stop he will eventually need a liver transplant. The second factor is the last time he tried to quit drinking his blood pressure skyrocketed. Therefore, certain treatment medications may reduce those symptoms, which makes it easier to stop .

An explanation of the expected side effects of the medication and the mental health professional’s role in monitoring these side effects

Antabuse (disulfiram) was the first medicine approved for the treatment of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence (Skinner et al., 2014). It works by causing a severe adverse reaction when someone taking the medication consumes alcohol. Most people who take it will vomit after a drink of alcohol. Some side effects from this medication are drowsiness, tiredness, headache. skin rash, acne, sore tongue (Skinner et al., 2014). Mental health professional can monitor the symptoms of the medications by meeting weekly with the patient and discuss any side effects to possibly change the medication. I would advocate for the treatment with this medication because it does not affect the brain receptors, but it alters how the body breaks down and eliminates alcohol from their system (Viola-Rhenals et al., 2018). It also takes about 10 minutes for the effects of the medication to kick in (Viola-Rhenals et al., 2018). Antabuse motivates the patient to continue treatment.


Skinner, M. D., Lahmek, P., Pham, H., & Aubin, H. J. (2014). Disulfiram efficacy in the treatment of alcohol dependence: a meta-analysis. PloS one, 9(2), e87366.

Viola-Rhenals, M., Patel, K. R., Jaimes-Santamaria, L., Wu, G., Liu, J., & Dou, Q. P. (2018). Recent Advances in Antabuse (Disulfiram): The Importance of its Metal-binding Ability to its Anticancer Activity. Current medicinal chemistry, 25(4), 506–524.

2nd colleagues post

Nina Ervin 

RE: Discussion 2 – Week 9

Top of Form

I chose the Joey’s case study the 30-year old online graduate student. Joey is studying to be a counselor and realizes his recreational use of drugs has led to an addiction (Laureate, 2014). Joey’s impending trip for his residency has him reflecting on many concerns like, “should he take another hit to get through thru his residency?” “How will he quit using drugs?” (Laureate, 2014).

  • An      explanation of the factors that indicate the appropriateness of the      medication in potentially treating the client’s substance abuse

According to SAMSHA (2020) Methadone is an effective medication used to treat dependency of opioids like cocaine and heroin. Methadone is a long-lasting opioid agonist that can reduce cravings and withdrawals. Joey has been using for some time now and needs a MAT intervention to help him avoid relapse and reduce withdrawals.  Having a treatment program that is safe, effective, and tailored to his lifestyle and need is important for him to adjust to changes needed. According to Scott, Dennis, Grella, Kurz, Sumpter, Nicholson & Funk, (2020) linkage for a eligibility in a treatment program can consist of meeting a state requirement, being engaged by a counselor to identify and assess addiction (Opioid Risk Tool), determination that individual has used in the past 30 days of visit and been addicted a year within using the drug, resident of the city/state, and commitment to stay in program for at least 4 weeks. In a linkage meeting the counselor is to identify the type of addiction and severity. According to Scott, Dennis, Grella, Kurz, Sumpter, Nicholson & Funk, (2020) race, gender, age were key factors with their participants. The percentage of African American men resulted in 88%, 8% were White, and 5% were Hispanic. 73% of the participants were males and 62% were 50 and older (Scott, Dennis, Grella, Kurz, Sumpter, Nicholson & Funk, 2020).

  • An      explanation of the expected side effects of the medication and the mental      health professional’s role in monitoring these side effects

Common side effects Joey can expect from Methadone treatment can consist of restlessness, vomiting, sweating, constipation, sexual issues. Severe side effects can involve chest pains, hallucination, hives, swelling of tongue and/or face, and difficulty breathing (Preston, O’Neal & Talaga, 2017).

Mental Health professional’s role in explaining side effects of medication should involve being competent of pharmacological approaches for addiction. Mental health professional should be versed in understanding interactions of medication. Also, treatment options to pair within the treatment program to help with recovery, like behavior therapy.

  • A      justification of the medication to advocate for its use to encourage the      client to continue with treatment.

Medication-Assisted Treatment is an evidence-based practice and approved by FDA (SAMSHA, 2020). Advocacy would come into place for mental health professionals to ensure access is made available for evidence-based medication for addiction. Another would be to improve psychosocial services for clients being treated for addiction (SAMSHA. 2020).


Preston, J. D., O’Neal, J. H., & Talaga, M. C. (2017). Handbook of clinical psychopharmacology for therapists (8th ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger. Chapter 14, “Substance-Related Disorders” (pp. 153-160)

SAMSHA (2020). Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Retrieved from:

Scott, C. K., Dennis, M. L., Grella, C. E., Kurz, R., Sumpter, J., Nicholson, L., & Funk, R. R. (2020). A community outreach intervention to link individuals with opioid use disorders to medication-assisted treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment108, 75–81.