Online Class Assignment

PSYC FPX4300 Assessment 2: Intervention:Lauren

Intervention: Lauren Introduction

The episode of Intervention chosen was with Lauren. John is an 18-year-old with an addiction to injecting crystal meth (Intervention, 2005). She is currently injecting multiple times per day just to get through the day. Lauren suffers from a severe addiction to crystal meth and receives treatment for drug abuse after the intervention of family and friends. Lauren had a troubled childhood which was affected by her cousin molesting her at 11 years old and then another cousin molesting her at 12 years old. The same cousin that molested her at 12 injected her for the first time with meth. After this, she lost her father and became suicidal due to the reality of her life and her struggle to cope. Michelle stated that she feels stuck and would like to quit for her grandfather but is unable to due to the severity of her addiction.

In this paper, I will compare and contrast the different ideas of addiction ad relate them to Lauren’s case. I will discuss whether or not Lauren meets the criteria for substance abuse disorder. Also discussed will be the various stages of addiction and the current stage that I believe Lauren to be in. Lauren’s treatment and whether or not I believe it to be an appropriate form of treatment for her will be discussed as well.

Compare and Contrast Ideas of Addiction

Common ideas of addiction in regards to meth is that it is highly addictive when injected, hard to stop, has visible injection sites, bad teeth, and a jittery, obviously on drugs look. Also, the need for another fix is obvious, and the person will do almost anything to get it (McKetin, 2008). Lauren has all of these symptoms, as seen on the show. Her addiction to the drug is very apparent and not just because they show her shooting the drugs on the show.

Common misconceptions about addiction are that the person lacks willpower or has low morals. People tend to feel that the person has the ability to just stop at a whim, which is not the case. Addiction is a complex mental disease that takes control over a person, and drugs alter the brain assisting in this lack of control (NIDA, 2018). Another idea is that addiction runs in families. Although it can be a factor, it is not necessarily always the reason someone becomes addicted to drugs.

Meets Criteria for Substance Use Disorder?

According to the DSM-5, the criteria for substance abuse are characterized by significant impairments in health, social function, and impaired control of substance use (Samhsa, 2019). Lauren is using it to the extent that she will do anything for her next fix if she doesn’t have any available. She constantly carries a container with her needles and drugs in order to get her drug fix. Lauren does not show a large extent of health issues yet, but possibly with her teeth. She is also seen to be violent with her family, angry and snappy, and has a strained relationship with them. It is apparent that Lauren is in the addiction stage of substance abuse due to the fact that she is dependent on the drug in order to get through the day.

Current Stage

According to Miller, et al (2019), there are seven stages of addiction. The stages of addiction include substance use, problems, physical adaptations, behavioral dependence, cognitive impairment, medical harm, and motivation for change. Lauren is showing that she is currently in the behavioral dependence stage. She does show signs of impairment but may only be in the early stages, as it doesn’t show significant cognitive damage. Toward the end of the episode, she moves into the motivation for change stage. She struggled to get help on her own, but with the help of her family and friends, she was motivated to get treatment.

Appropriateness of Treatment?

Lauren enters treatment after her family comes together for an intervention. It is obvious she has a lot of support in order to get better, and they won’t relent in getting her into treatment. Sending her to a treatment facility was the best option for her simply because her addiction was so intense. It obviously showed how well it worked because she has now been sober since 2005 and showed she was married and has a baby on the way. Her relationship with her mother also improved, and it showed that they speak on the phone every day, sometimes multiple times per day. Michele also mentions how happy she finally is and how free she feels from her addiction. I was surprised at how well she recovered simply because of how long she had been using drugs and the fact that she felt the need for them all the time. In my opinion, her age played a large factor in her being able to do so well in overcoming her addiction. Even though she had done drugs for a few years already, she was still in a phase of growth and maturing. I feel this helped her to move forward from her addiction to a better future.


In conclusion, I believe that Lauren has struggled with a severe addiction to drugs, starting at an early age. This has made her addiction get to the point of dependence, and very hard for her to quit without the assistance of her friends and family. This resulted in her needing to receive help from a treatment facility. She became motivated to quit and completed treatment, which I believe was the correct treatment for her. I believe that even though she had a strong dependence on heroin, her age helped her to recover as well. She was very young, and people are more malleable at younger ages. She benefitted from the treatment and went on to be sober, with a husband and baby on the way by the end of the episode.


Intervention, Season 2: Episode 4 (2005) Lauren
McKetin, R. (2008, May). Characteristics and harms associated with injecting versus smoking

methamphetamine among methamphetamine treatment entrants.

Miller, W. R., Forcehimes, A. A., & Zweben, A. (2019). Treating Addiction (2nd ed.). Guilford Publications, Inc..

SAMHSA. (2019). Enhancing motivation for change in substance use disorder treatment

NIDA. (2018). Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts.

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