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Substance abuse

Substance abuse


  • Explain the characteristics and complexities associated with assessment and treatment of co-occurring disorders. 
  • Describe challenges associated with the case of Elena. 
  • If you were creating a 30-day treatment plan for Elena, identify two short-term goals based on challenges that Elena is facing. Include an action step that you would include in her treatment plan. 
  • Post your completed Treatment Plan.


Elena is a 44-year-old hearing-impaired Latina female who was admitted to the inpatient treatment facility for alcohol dependence where you are a counselor working with people with addictions. During her admission, Elena expressed reluctance to undergo treatment, stating that her family did not approve of counseling or psychiatric services because they see it as a sign of weakness. During her admission, she began crying and had difficulty stopping. She stated that her husband left her and that her two teenage children were home alone. Elena was inebriated, under emotional distress, and ended up being carried to her assigned room by two staff members.

Your psychosocial intake assessment revealed Elena is also manifesting signs and symptoms of a major depressive disorder. You know that Elena needs help with her alcohol addiction, but you also know that her depression might be a cause or an effect of alcoholism.

Addressing the needs of diverse populations and co-occurring disorders can be a challenging aspect of addiction counseling. This week, you evaluate strategies for addressing the complexities of co-occurring disorders, also known as co-morbid disorders, and you create a 30-day addiction treatment plan for Elena as presented in the case study above.