Risk Assessment of an Alcoholic (cont’d)


There are several reasons why Jay requires a risk assessment. Individuals who have psychological distress or mental disorders are significantly more likely than others to be vulnerable to suicide. Further, stressful situations are many times the precipitating cause of suicidal ideation (Hays, 2014). Jay is in a stressful situation as his wife has left him and filed a restraining order against him, he is unemployed, and he does not get to see his kids. Substance abuse significantly increases the risk of suicide for a client. The suicide risk for a person that abuses substances is fifty to seventy percent higher than normal individuals (Berman, 2006). Jay is an active alcoholic, and his alcoholism is as bad as it gets at this moment in time. Finally, Jay has recently had thoughts of wishing he were dead. As described above, several of the red flags for a person that might potentially commit suicide are present. Jay is definitely a potential suicide risk and he requires a risk assessment.

Risk Assessment of an Alcoholic

This post discusses the scenario of a guy that requires a risk assessment along with the reasoning behind why he requires a risk assessment. In the last section of the paper, the writer outlines how he would assess the client.


Jay is a 56-year-old Caucasian man. Jay is slightly underweight and 6’4”. Jay has trouble maintaining eye contact. Jay also has a 5-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy. Jay went to treatment for his alcoholism six months ago. He has since relapsed and his wife, Sue, has asked for separation. Sue has also filed a restraining order against Jay. Since Sue has filed a restraining order against him, Jay has only been able to see his kids on a limited basis. Further, Jay and his wife have burned through a significant portion of their retirement, as Jay has been unemployed for over a year. Jay was terminated due to his excessive alcohol abuse. His kids are his world and not being able to see them has caused him to go into a severe depression. Being unemployed and not having a purpose is making matters worse. Further, his close friends and most of the other people in his life want nothing to do with him until he can get his alcoholism under control. He admits to having frequent thoughts of wishing he were not alive. However, he denies having thoughts of actual suicide.

For the past several weeks, Jay has been living by himself in an apartment. He spends most of his time in isolation. He has gone to a few AA meetings. However, he is not willing to surrender to the program. Jay is only able to get a few days of sobriety at a time. He does not want to go back to treatment, because that will mean that he will not get to see his kids. However, Jay would desperately like to get back together with Sue. He desperately wants to be back living with and seeing his kids on a daily basis.

If Jay wants his wife and kids back, he needs to get and stay sober. The last treatment center he went to was across the country and most of the other patients were Heroin addicts in their twenties. Jay could not relate to these kids and he felt that the treatment was ineffective. He blames his relapse on the treatment center. Plus, treatment is a significant expense and he and his wife have already burned through a significant amount of their savings. Another option for Jay is sober living. However, Jay does not want to follow the rules and policies associated with the sober living home that he has looked at. He is open to sober living on his own terms. He wants his own room, he wants to come and go as he pleases, and does not want to be bound by rules. In other words, he wants his own apartment, which is a setup for failure.

“Designer” Drugs vs. Nicotine or Alcohol

Consider the physiological effects of the so-called “designer” drugs. Are these drugs any more dangerous than nicotine or alcohol?  


In my opinion, designer drugs or more dangerous than nicotine or alcohol. You don’t know what you are getting with a drug that was created in an underground or illegal lab. These drugs were created and not tested. You don’t know how strong the drug is, what is actually in the drug, or what the effects might be. Designer drugs are also known as “club drugs”. Take GHB for example. I was really into GHB back in the early 2000s. I cannot even count how many times I over-dosed and woke up in the emergency room. Every time I woke up in the emergency room, I was like, “f$%k, it happened again!” I used to take a cap of GHB, also known as “G”, and then take another cap, then another, then another, then a swig, then another swig. Next thing you know it was lights out and I was in the ER. While on G, I can remember losing things, losing my mind, not remembering where I lived, not remembering my door code. I remember a time when I was in a cab and I could not remember where I lived. The cab driver delivered me to a police officer, I was arrested for being under the influence in public, and I spent the night in jail. With alcohol, you know how much you are drinking and how potent the drinks are. You know what the effects of alcohol will be. It is much harder to drink so much alcohol that you end up in the emergency room. What makes designer drugs dangerous is the unknown factor. You don’t know exactly what you are taking, now much you are taking, and what the effects will be. Regulation and control make nicotine and alcohol much safer than designer drugs. 

Legislative Attempts at Controlling Illicit Drugs

There have been many legislative attempts at controlling the use of illicit drugs (whether prescription-type or otherwise). Why, or why not, have these attempts been effective? In your response, consider the root causes of illicit drug use. For follow-up discussion, respond to at least two of your peers.


There have been many legislative attempts at controlling the use of illicit drugs. Controlled substances or much more regulated today than they were even a few years ago. For example, physicians can see a patient’s prescription history very easily. They can log into a website and see which substances a patient has taken, when, how often, dosage, and they can see if a patient sees multiple physicians for the same prescription. In other words, a physician can tell based on a client’s history if he is a pill seeker. Also, all pharmacies are connected. A patient used to be able to go to multiple pharmacies to have the same prescription filled. This is no longer the case. A patient’s prescription drug use history is available to all pharmacies. This is a good way to minimize prescription substance abuse.