Ethics for Addictions Professionals
This week you will write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the moral, legal, and professional ethical considerations in the following case study. There are times when clients’ issues complicate confidentiality due to unsafe client behaviors and legal issues. This paper provides the opportunity to critically think about how an addiction counselor would navigate these issues and maintain responsible client care. To complete this assignment, use the NAADAC Codes of Ethics, TAP 21, TIP42, HIPAA regulations, and additional codes of ethics as applicable.
Read the Case Study: Shane.
Shane | Case Study_____________________________
Welcome to this treatment team meeting about my client, Shane. I’d like to get your consultation on this case. Shane is a 26-year-old, single, heterosexual, Caucasian male. He is diagnosed with co-occurring disorders: bipolar disorder, alcohol use disorder, and cannabis use disorder. He uses alcohol and cannabis regularly, as he has said it helps him relax. He has been prescribed medications to assist with his bipolar symptoms, but he says they do not work. He is non-compliant in taking his medication. I have been seeing Shane for the past 3 months, weekly for individual counseling and weekly for group counseling. He was referred from probation and parole after receiving his first DUI. Shane has a poor history of maintaining meaningful relationships and has limited contact with his family. He says that he can only trust his mother and that the rest of his family does not understand him or his way of life. Shane has attempted suicide twice in the past 3 years, both times by attempting to hang himself. He was not under my care during this time frame. Both times resulted in hospitalization, but he did not comply with aftercare upon discharge. He does not self-harm and has no homicidal ideations. Shane is currently employed at the local theater. He says this is a dream job for him as he loves movies. He also lives with a roommate whom, by his account, he cannot stand, and he says he only has a roommate to help pay the bills. Four years ago, Shane was diagnosed with HIV, and he is in denial with the diagnosis. He is sexually promiscuous and has many partners. It is unknown if he uses protection, as he does not want to go into detail regarding his sex life. His roommate is also unaware of his HIV status, and Shane does not take precautions around the household to prevent the spread of the virus (sharing razors and drug paraphernalia, not following proper wound care, etc.). Shane has signed a release of information to his probation officer to receive monthly reports on attendance. Today, I received a phone call from Mr. Parks, his probation officer. Shane will be back in court tomorrow, and Mr. Parks wants more information to present in court besides the monthly reports. Shane has regularly been attending both individual and group sessions; however, he missed today’s appointment. I had a message on my voicemail early this morning from Shane saying, “I can’t take this life anymore; I just want to be in a better place.” I have been attempting to contact Shane via telephone but have been unable to reach him. Mr. Parks is requesting information by the end of the business day today. I am concerned about Shane’s well-being as well as Mr. Park’s request. Any feedback or guidance about this case would be appreciated.
Resource: Safety Plan and Harm Reduction Template
Answer all questions below about ethical considerations:
What is John’s ethical responsibility versus his legal obligation to provide Shane’s mental health record to Mr. Parks?
What steps need to be taken to ethically and legally provide Mr. Parks with the requested information?
What is John’s responsibility as a licensed addiction professional regarding Shane’s unwillingness to prevent the spread of HIV (duty to warn)? What steps would need to be taken (if any) to ethically and legally address this issue?
As a licensed addiction professional, what is John’s responsibility and legal obligation to address the client’s current crisis? What specific steps need to be taken?
Are HIPAA regulations being followed? Which HIPAA regulations need to be followed in Shane’s case? Provide a rationale for your response.
Be sure to address the following:
Substance use disorder
Contagious medical condition
Collaboration needed for client care
Address any ethical violations
Using the provided template, create a safety plan to address Shane’s suicidal ideation. Include the following:
Duty to warn
Duty to protect
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