Case Study: Alcohol Abuse with Co-Occurring Anxiety
Our client was a male in his early 20s and presented for treatment for alcohol use disorder and reported he had been drinking daily for 2 years. He was on short term disability and employed. This was his first-time seeking treatment.
Initially, client was using justification (cognitive distortion) for his alcohol use due to presenting as “functioning” externally. He justified his alcohol use by his ability to maintain employment, have a savings account, and having a good relationship with his family. Therapy was focused on how this client functions internally. Client was able to get honest about his mental health, specifically feeling increasing anxiety for the past 2 years. Client was able to make connections that he drank alcohol to cope with his anxiety.
Client addressed his anxiety in collaboration with the psychiatrist and therapist. Through the client’s course of treatment, he was able to recognize the need to stop drinking and follow the psychiatrist’s recommendation of incorporating anti-anxiety medications into his treatment. The therapist executed clinical interventions utilizing Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as providing psychoeducation on the 12-step of Alcoholics Anonymous. The client was able to return to his job following completion of treatment, secured a sponsor and a home group, and worked with a psychiatrist for ongoing follow up with his medication.
The client reported that he has been working on his steps with a sponsor and is accessing supports he has developed in his home group to maintain sobriety.