Development And Etiology Of A Substance Abuse Disorder

Case Study: Joaquin Olivares, a 38 year old immigrant, and his 35 year old wife presented to the agency with the complaint of “family problems.” They have been married for 12 years and they have two children (ages six and eight). They have lived in the U.S. for eight years. He worked in a factory for five years before recently being laid off. He currently works as a day laborer. Ms. Olivares works as a housekeeper. Mr. Olivares complains that his wife has been “nagging” him about his drinking. He states that during the last few months he has been drinking more but states it is not a problem. He says that he only drinks on the weekends and never during the week. He states he does drink every weekend but does not admit to the actual amount.


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Mr. Olivares and his wife talk about the difficulties they experience living in the U.S. because neither of them speak much English. Mr. Olivares states that he is worried about his previous lay off stating that he “didn’t want to let the family down.” As a result, he works long days to make ends meet. He says that his drinking on the weekends is his way of relaxing after a long work week. Respond to the following questions: Identify the problems, issues, and concerns that arise from this case. What factors could contribute to Mr. Olivares’s drinking? Would you classify this as a substance abuse issue? If so, how do you think the substance abuse issue developed? If not, what are some factors that could contribute to the development and etiology of a substance abuse disorder in the future?

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