Case Study: Alcohol Dependence

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Alcohol Addiction and Mental Health
Mental Health Nursing
Professor M. McCutch MSN, RN
December 8, 2012

A.G., a 53 year old African American male was admitted for Alcohol Dependence. His Axis I diagnosis was Alcohol Dependence and Alcohol Induced Mood Disorder with Depression. A.G. was admitted to the Mentally Ill and Chemically Addicted (MICA) Unit of Bergen Regional Medical Center on November 20. Upon admission his alcohol level was .278. The legal level in New Jersey is .08. ( oade.nd.edu) He stated that he was practically unconscious when he was brought to the ER. He had suicidal ideations and was consequently admitted. Four days later the patient was calm and it was almost impossible to imagine him as the character in his story. A.G. experienced his first intoxication at the age of 14. He stated that he and his friends drank and smoked pot before attending “house parties” because it would suppress their inhibitions. Eventually he became an alcoholic and developed a high tolerance which made it easier to hide his addiction. The essential nursing role was to empathetic, provide active listening and reinforcement as needed, and assist him in recognizing his triggers so that he may recognize and avoid them. Alcoholism is a disease that affects 10% of women and 20% of men in the United States. (www.medicinenet.com). The DSM-IV TR diagnosis of alcohol dependence is able to be given when an individual has met three or more of the seven criteria associated with the disorder. The physiological aspects of alcohol dependence are associated with a much greater potential for medical problems such as acute alcohol withdrawal. The first criteria usually associated with alcohol dependence are considered to be tolerance and alcohol withdrawal. The other criteria usually are seen as behavioral and cognitive aspects of alcohol dependence. These may include alcohol use becomes incredibly important to the client, including spending a great deal of...
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