Social Work and Human Services

Guidelines for Benchmark

please address the following within this assignment, 1) Setting, 2) Demographics, 3) Presenting problem, 4) Brief background of substance use, 5) Current Substance use symptoms, 6) Personal factors, 7) Explanation and application of the assessment and treatment you chose to apply to the case, and 8) Description of the competencies and how you are applying them to the case.


You are a new MSW-prepared social worker at the Hampton Veterans Administration. In your role as a social worker in the Substance Abuse Unit you are responsible for assessing the individual and implementing the treatment you select. Please read the case and apply the following directions to address the case. Please find case attached labeled Benchmark Case


Your first task is to describe the demographic characteristics of the individual, particularly those that may affect the trajectory of their substance use. Indicate the drugs they use and their primary drug of choice. Identify any mental health problems they have and whether these problems preceded or followed the initiation of their substance use.

Discuss their access, or non-access, to treatment and their reasons for selecting treatment now (C7). Identify systemic factors that influence their substance use or their ability to receive treatment (C3). Include the client’s attributes including gender, age, race/ethnicity, cultural background, economic/insurance status, immigration status, employment status, parenting status, military status, or history of trauma. Indicate any stigmatized behaviors or characteristics where clinicians typically struggle to maintain a neutral or a strengths-based perspective (such as substance use during pregnancy, sex work, poor parenting, driving while intoxicated, or leaving previous treatment (AMA). (C1)

Presenting Problem

Describe what precipitated the individual arriving in your office. Did she seek treatment on a voluntary, or involuntary basis? Was she pressured to enter treatment (e.g. job, family, doctor)? What is the client’s perception of the problem? Address clues you have identified from the case study as to his/her/their motivation (internal and external factors) for coming to your office, and on which level you should start to engage the individual? (C6) What initial clues to risk and protective factors of the client are apparent and important to address? (C7)  

Brief Background of Substance Use, Mental Illness, and Treatment

Please give a synopsis of the client’s history of substance use. What was the age of her first episode, when did she first use regularly, and what was the onset and duration of substance use? Using a Time-Line-Follow-Back calendar indicate the quantity and frequency of her use. Discuss any relevant factors that coincided with the start and acceleration of his/her/their problem, which would include any loss of employment, trauma, or the influence of their peer group. (C8) Summarize any previous treatment episodes or attempts to reduce behavioral health symptoms that may assist in gauging problem severity. (C7) Explain your treatment recommendations. (C8)

Current Symptoms and Use

One of the most important symptoms that you need to address is the individual’s current problems. Please apply the TWEAK to the case study. Please score the TWEAK and indicate whether the score indicates that she needs a more in-depth assessment. If she needs a more in-depth assessment, please administer the DSM V. Include the frequency of her use or symptoms in your assessment, the amount, and relevant patterns of the problem, and the symptoms, such mental or physical health. Please align your assessment with the symptoms and diagnosis of substance use using the DSM V’s criteria that include increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and the impact of substance use on social, family, and employment domains. Please compare the patient’s background to the Addiction Severity Index and indicate which area you think is the biggest problem, how troubled or bothered has she been in the past 30 days, and whether she believes she needs treatment for that problem (C7)

Personal and Contextual Factors

Please set the treatment goals and discuss who will be included. (C9) Identifying protective and risk factors include strengths of the individual, the presence or absence of structure to her life, such as employment or other daily commitments, and the social support she receives from her relationships.

Please apply Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to this case. Include a chart of the distorted thinking types that the patient is demonstrating, and a list of Socratic Questions that you can ask in order to explore her irrational/inaccurate thoughts. (C4)

Application of Additional Competencies

Indicate your knowledge of the biological evidence that explains how the particular drugs she uses affect her body and mind. Include the mental effects of the drugs, and the effects of the patient’s social background on her drug and alcohol use behavior.


Finally, using APA format, cite relevant peer-reviewed literature. (C5)

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