Risk/Protective Factors & Frank's Addiction - Case Study

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1486 Words
Date:  2022-12-27


Risk factors refer to the things, people, or actions that provide a conducive environment for substance use and abuse; increase in the probability of addiction. Protective factors, on the other hand, lead to a decline in the decline in the likelihood of substance use and abuse in children and adolescents. Growing up, Frank's history indicates that he was predisposed to several risk factors that contributed to his addiction to alcohol and other toxic substances such as cocaine, tobacco, and marijuana. For instance, his parents neglected him, lack of parental supervision coupled with poverty and easy accessibility to the drugs only made it easy for Frank to get hold of these substances and eventually, repeated use got him hooked. Other risk factors include peer rejection, educational issues, recurring and undiagnosed mental health problems, child abuse, early aggressive behavior, and peer substance use (Substance Abuse Prevention, 2019). It is also important to note that almost all of Frank's friends are substance abusers which indicate the role played by peer influence and the desire to fit in, in heightening the rates of addiction.

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Unstable home environments in which the parents never cease to fight or physically abuse to their children is another risk factor according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Frank grew up in such a family where his mother was physically and verbally abusive. She feeds him negative thoughts about his abilities which dents his confidence and self-esteem. He has an absentee father who, like his mother, does not believe in him and maltreats him. His father is also verbally abusive. This increases the likelihood of Frank turning to alcohol and other substances use for comfort and to relieve stress. Franks admits that he started using drugs of all kind in his early teenage years. The fact that he lived in a poor neighborhood only worsens his case because it means that he had unhindered access to these substances. He also got them from his peers who were already using.

The lack of adequate parental care and supervision, especially during the adolescent years of a child, is very detrimental. It is at this stage that children need and look for validation and acceptance from those around them; most importantly, their parents (Substance Abuse Prevention, 2019). Frank did not get any of this from his parents and drugs, and substance abuse became his escape. It also played an instrumental role in affecting his adult life because he eventually neglects his duties as a father and breadwinner to his family. He became a completely-out-of-control individual who is not dependable nor reliable. His life becomes an absolute mess.

Not many protective factors were available to protect Frank from substance use and addiction and later a disastrous addiction throughout his life. However, his ability to make friends resulting in healthy relationships with his peers attributed to his charming and charismatic personality gives him a way of coping with life (Substance Abuse Prevention, 2019). Some of these friends enable him to find jobs providing him a way to meet his basic needs. He also exhibits a good mastery of both language and communication skills which come in handy while seeking employment or other types of aid (Substance Abuse Prevention, 2019). An essential aspect of addiction to note; many of the risk factors that persist from childhood through to adolescent increase the probability of the individual becoming a substance abuser and later battles with addiction. However, according to Substance Abuse Prevention, there are individuals who despite exposure to several risks factors, never become substance users or abusers. Nevertheless, Frank's substance abuse problem follows him into adulthood and almost kills him on several occasions.

Prevention Programming During Childhood/Adolescent Years

Studies have reported that the most effective programs are those that target the risk and protective factors especially at an individual, family, and community level (Griffin, 2010). An all-rounded approach that ensures all the involved groups of people are well informed helps in the prevention of both substance use and abuse. In Frank's case, a functional and robust relationship with his parents could have gone a long way in preventing him from experimenting with drugs. Psychosocial theories concerned with the etiology of substance use and abuse also act as guides to the approach used in the prevention thereof.

Both universal and selective interventions would have been very beneficial to Frank during his childhood and adult years. The universal intervention programs would have educated the general population on the dangers of substance use and abuse. This would include his parents and his friends. The selective intervention would have helped Frank because it targets individuals deemed to be at high risk of substance use and abuse, and since his parent were already substance abusers, Frank would fall under the high-risk category. Both of these approaches are aimed at delaying the onset of substance use and abuse with the hope of finally controlling them overall (Griffin, 2010). Frank would also have benefitted from an evidence-based approach, for instance, school-based interventions as they have proven to be very effective in preventing substance use and abuse as well as other aggressive behaviors.

Contributors to Co-Occurring Disorders and Challenges in Client Engagement

As any other individual with substance disorder or mental health disorders, Frank is in constant interaction with his family and friends. These people are usually meant to provide both mental, emotional, and physical support that sometimes leads to recovery from substance use and abuse (Mueser, Glynn, Cather, Zarate, Fox, Feldman & Clark, 2009). However, family, friends, and the community are sometimes the causes of the re-occurrence of these disorders. Conflicts with family members or friends could result in relapses. Engaging people with substance abuse disorders are very challenging because they tend not to co-operate. They are also easily irritated and restless. Some studies have indicated that counselors have even suffered violence in the hands of substance abusers during counseling.

Treatment Considerations

Considering all the possible factors that could affect treatment seeking and utilization, studies have reported different conclusions. These factors are inclusive of gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, and ethnicity. Some groups of people, such as pregnant women, lesbians, and children with or without diagnosed disorders have been shown to receive treatment while others such as heterosexual men do not. Frank is a middle-aged straight male (McCabe, West, Hughes & Boyd, 2012). Mostly, it is sexual minority groups that do not receive substance abuse treatment. This could be due to stigmatization even from treatment providers and inadequate knowledge about them and their needs. Seeking and receiving treatment for alcohol and substance abuse disorder for Frank was not difficult since he does not fall in the sexual minorities' category.

Treatment Strategies

One of the most effective strategies used in the treatment of substance abuse disorder is the coping strategy. It is fundamental that stress is a significant contributor to the increase in the prevalence of substance use. By providing individuals, whether children, adolescents, or adults, with a better way of dealing with issues such as employment, volunteering or just something that keeps their mind off things such as family issues and poverty, the number of those getting into substance abuse would reduce. Also, implementing an age limit for prescription and non-prescription drugs helps reduce their availability. Frank seemed to stay sober when he was involved with work or volunteering for campaigns.

Rehabilitation and counseling are among the most common methods of treating substance use and abuse disorder. This is because they are widespread and easily accessible. They do not, however, always give the best results as some patients never quit substance abuse. Frank, for instance, battles with addiction his whole despite numerous attempts of rehabilitation, counseling, and advice from friends against substance abuse.

Recovery Maintenance Plan

The most effective recovery maintenance plan would be through cooperation or the patient, family, and friends. These are the people with whom the patient has the most contact with and can help maintain the patient's sobriety. Also, self-groups such as AA groups provide support and motivation to remain sober.


Substance abuse and addiction, though with no deliberate cure, can be successfully controlled so that the patient regains control of their lives and can fulfill their responsibilities. Treatment involves the prevention and control of the adverse effects of addiction and substance abuse.


Griffin, K. W., & Botvin, G. J. (2010). Evidence-based interventions for preventing substance use disorders in adolescents. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 19(3), 505-526. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2010.03.005

McCabe, S. E., West, B. T., Hughes, T. L., & Boyd, C. J. (2012). Sexual orientation and substance abuse treatment utilization in the United States: results from a national survey. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 44(1), 4-12. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2012.01.007

Mueser, K. T., Glynn, S. M., Cather, C., Zarate, R., Fox, L., Feldman, J., Clark, R. E. (2009). Family intervention for co-occurring substance use and severe psychiatric disorders: participant characteristics and correlates of initial engagement and more extended exposure in a randomized controlled trial. Addictive Behaviors, 34(10), 867-877. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.03.025

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Risk/Protective Factors & Frank's Addiction - Case Study. (2022, Dec 27). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/riskprotective-factors-franks-addiction-case-study

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