Fran S. was arrested for prescription fraud when she tried to obtain prescription painkillers at a pharmacy with a fake prescription. You have been asked to assess her situation and make treatment recommendations to the court.
Fran S. is a 32-year-old employee at a local bank. She was briefly hospitalized after a car accident 14 months ago and sustained injuries to her neck and back. Her doctor prescribed painkillers for these injuries. He told her that she should only take the painkillers for a few months, but Fran found that she liked the feelings of calm and relaxation that the painkillers produced. Even though the pain from her neck and back went away, she kept telling her doctor that she was in pain so that he would continue prescribing the drugs. When her own doctor told her that he would no longer prescribe the painkillers for her, she found it difficult to go for more than a few days without the painkillers (she reported feeling anxious, irritable, and “not herself” when she stopped taking them) and found another doctor who would prescribe her painkillers.
Fran told herself that the painkillers helped her get through her day, but she started missing deadlines at work and repeatedly coming in late, putting her job in jeopardy. Her husband also reported a difference in her behavior, saying that she was detached, much more irritable and likely to start arguments over minor issues, which had not been a problem in the past. Fran started taking larger doses of the painkillers because she had stopped feeling their effects at the smaller doses. Her second doctor became suspicious of how frequently she needed prescriptions and refused to prescribe her any more drugs. Fran tried again to stop using the painkillers but found that she was experiencing problems, such as headaches, blurred vision, and anxiety, when she was not taking the painkillers. She could not find another doctor to prescribe her the painkillers, so Fran started submitting fake prescriptions to the pharmacy.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) lists the criteria for assessing whether a person has a substance use disorder, which it divides into three levels of severity: mild, moderate, or severe. Use your available resources to research the DSM-5 criteria for this disorder.
- In a Word document of 1,500-2,500 words, address the following:
- Provide a summary of the symptoms necessary to diagnose a substance use disorder according to the DSM-5.
- Identify the differences between the criteria for assessing mild, moderate, or severe substance use disorder according to the DSM-5 and the previous DSM-IV criteria for Substance Abuse and Substance dependence.
- What level of Substance Use Disorder (if any) would you diagnose Fran with and why? Which diagnostic criteria does she meet?
- Support your diagnosis with examples and research.
- Based on the case information presented, what recommendations would you make for treatment for Fran? Support your choices with evidence from the professional literature.
- What are current demographics and trends in the abuse of prescription medication? Explain.
- What are the contributing factors to these trends and demographics?
- Give at least 2 suggestions for how a doctor might work to prevent a patient from becoming addicted to prescription drugs.
- Compile your responses to the above information into your final Word document.
- The paper must be 1,500-2,500 words in length.
- All sources must be referenced using APA style.