Application: Case Study – Substance Use and the Adolescent

The client seems to have disagreements with his mother as they do not seem to agree on anything. The client says that he does not take alcohol or any other drugs but he listens to loud music which his mother feels like its aggressive and angry. However, the client likes this type of music. The clients have had depression and been angry in the past and he still seems angry because he says that he felt that way because maybe he is stupid. The mother has also reported that the client has friends that are older than him.
The most important client characteristic to consider in developing a diagnosis is his past with depression, his current aggressiveness and anger. The doctor can check the patients on symptoms of depression. While the client has said that he does not take booze or drugs, it is important to check with the parent on the use of alcohol or opioids in school or at home, substance abuse resulting in poor performance in school or at home and withdrawal symptoms related to alcohol and symptoms abuse. The fact that the client hangs around boys that are older than him raises concerns on why the client is hanging out with the boys. His aggressive behaviour towards his family members though typical to teenagers also raises concerns on alcohol and substance abuse. The diagnosis should therefore be made on the basis of DSM-5 Substance Use Disorder criteria because of the characteristics of the client.
Mental health professionals need to be cautious while evaluating their patients for any mental disorders. The client can only be diagnosed with Substance Use Disorder if he meets at least 2 of the specified criteria regarding alcohol and substance abuse or even depression.

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