The case study chosen is about Sean which comes from chapter 7 in the Crisis Intervention Case Book. Sean is a 19 year old sophomore who is currently on disciplinary probation for getting in a fight during freshman year and breaking the other students jaw. Sean admits to drinking and also smoking marijuana since high school and occasionally on campus. Currently Sean was brought to the emergency room by a friend after passing out on the lawn at a beer party. His friend had seen that Sean vomited all over himself and would not wake up. His friend then called 911 and an ambulance came. At the emergency room Sean’s stomach was pumped and a blood test shown an extremely high level of alcohol along with marijuana and oxycontin. Sean’s case is considered a medical crisis because if his friend would of left him there Sean could have choked on vomit and died.
Sean’s case starts off as a medical crisis because of the circumstances Sean being unconscious and having an extremely high blood alcohol level. In this case if Sean’s friend would have left him on the lawn thinking he was going to let him just sleep the situation could have become critical. Many individuals can vomit or aspirate while intoxicated and could possibly die of asphyxiation especially when they become unconscious or unable to wake up. The individual should be brought to a hospital immediately where they can be observed and treated. Sean combined three different substances that night which included alcohol, marijuana (THC), and oxycontin. This is a lethal combination, which could have ended in Sean being in a coma or possibly even death; because of this Sean could be considered suicidal. It was also mentioned that Sean had alcoholism in his family and it can be genetic. Sean admitted to not being able to control his drinking and not remembering what happened the night before. This is a dangerous aspect of drinking.
When Sean’s medical crisis was stabilized, he was evaluated and began speaking with a counselor. When speaking to the counselor Sean admits that, he does not remember what happened last night or how he came to be at the hospital. He remembered being at the Sigma house and playing a drinking game around 10:00 pm and did not remember much after that. He even mentioned a story about drinking when he was in high school. Sean was very worried that his parents would find out and that they would make him come home. He seemed to be very nervous about not knowing whether his parents were called or not. Sean admitted to smoking marijuana before the party. He also stated that a friend gave him oxycontin. Sean mentioned that his father was an alcoholic and used to come home all the time drunk, which caused tension between his father and mother. His father would come home slurring his speech, coming home buzzed or sometimes not coming home at all.
His father attended AA meeting and he no longer drinks. The counselor asked Sean if it would be okay to set an appointment for him at the outpatient center at the medical center, which Sean seemed willing to do anything to stay in school. The counselor also agreed to meet with Sean’s parents to discuss the plan they have made to make it easier for Sean to confront them. There are other intervention strategies that could have been provided such as a support group that Sean can be involved in with other students who are in the same situation as Sean or who have been there. When trying to stop drinking, peer support groups can be an invaluable source of guidance, assistance, and encouragement. Groups are very helpful, not only in maintaining sobriety, but also as a safe place to get support and discuss challenges.
Connecting with others who know first-hand what you’re going through can help reduce feelings of isolation, fear, and hopelessness. Staying motivated and positive is much easier when you have others you can turn to and lean on to help you get through tough times. It would also benefit Sean to join a school club or sport. Sean would feel part of a team and can spend extra time practicing and keeping busy instead of drinking. If Sean’s drinking escalates then he may need to attend weekly AA meetings. Sean could also look into changing dorms to one that I think the last draw would be moving back home and getting away from the partying environment. His parents could give him support and he would have a safe place to come home to after classes and on the weekends.
Strategy to implement change
There is not much that can be done to change someone who doesn’t believe they have a problem and who doesn’t want to change. However the university that Sean attends could set a new policy to make changes within the school and students. It seems to me that there are many parties which include drinking, and drugs on school property and any plans would have to include limiting drinking on campus and in the dormitories, a strong drug enforcement policy and disiplines when these policies are broken. A strategy could be for the school to ban excessive partying to the point where people are passing out and are in danger. It can be impossible to eliminate partying all together, but there can be rules such as partying must not proceed past 12:00 on school campus. On an extreme level the university could put a ban on all alcohol on campus and enforce it strictly.
They can put students on an academic probation, or even expel them altogether if found with drugs, or alcohol. If authorities are involved which would include a student being brought to a hospital from drugs/drinking that person will be banned from living on university property if continued. This can eliminate the amount of partying and the level of partying going on. It can even come to a point where a student may be kicked out of the university because of multiple warnings. This can promote change to the campus and the students knowing that the university does not support drug abuse, or alcohol abuse. The university would have to take a strong stand and enforce these rules for them to be successful.
In conclusion there are many aspects that would qualify Sean as an alcoholic. Sean cannot control his drinking and will not remember what happened the night before. Sean has had drinking altercations in the past. He also admits to using marijuana and other drugs such as oxytocin. Sean’s counselor set an appointment at an outpatient center and agreed to meet with his parents to discuss their plan. Further interventions such as support groups and AA meeting may be necessary if Sean’s drinking does not decrease. To implement change the university may need to add policy’s that relate to drinking on campus and partying. This will help students like Sean who may struggle with alcohol and other drugs.
Cavaiola, A. A., &Colford, J. E. (2011).Crisis intervention case book. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.