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PSYC FPX 4300 Assessment 2 Off to the Intervention We Go

Intervention: Sam & Brad’s Drug-Filled Codependency

Brad and Sam K. The intervention was picked as the featured episode in Season 19, Episode 1. Samantha, 28, had hepatitis C, which spreads by sharing needles. It is the major cause of liver failure. She had a migraine when she was 13 years old, and her family doctor prescribed her analgesic for the migraine, which she started to overuse in high school for some time. Sam went to school to become a dental hygienist after high school. Her doctor prescribed painkillers after her c-section, and she unintentionally started overusing them as a result of the expectation to perform well, so she took more pills. Although by the age of 28, she had lost everything, including her job and legal rights over her son.

PSYC FPX 4300 Assessment 2 Off to the Intervention We Go

On the other hand, Brad was in an accident and has been prescribed a very strong opiate for pain. The pressure to be a father, a husband, and to go to school was too much for him. At the age of 22, he developed a serious addiction to heroin, and his family sent him to a rehab facility in Florida. He began working as a tech in the first year of his sobriety and went back to school. After a year, he returned home, and his wife decided to get separated mostly because of his drug addiction. At age 25, after ending his first marriage, Brad met Samantha. They were both on opioid painkillers when they first met. They were both on opioid blockers at the time, which prevented them from using opiates (Browne et al., 2019). However, Samantha was experiencing withdrawal symptoms and side effects, and she had never used heroin before. After seeing her condition, Brad gave Samantha her first heroin shot, and they married after five months.

The various definitions of addictive behavior will be looked at in this assessment and their relevance to Sam and Brad’s situation. The modification of the criteria for opioid use disorder (Koob, 2019), as well as the rise in opioid addiction and overdose deaths around the world, has prompted a slew of efforts aimed at reducing painkiller potential dangers, including several related to the prescription of opioids for pain relief (Klimas et al., 2019). Furthermore, the assessment explains Sam and Brad’s current situation and discusses the various stages of addiction. We will also discuss Sam and Brad’s diagnoses and ways to reduce opioid risks. 

Comparison of Addiction Concepts

Opioid addiction is a chronic mental illness that causes addicts to have numerous symptoms and slow the progression throughout their lives (Wang et al., 2019). As a result, it is clear that the individual requires another cure and will go to any duration to acquire it. According to the TV show, Samantha and Brad exhibit all of these symptoms. They develop drug addiction and start utilizing opioids for pain treatment or pleasant effects; tolerance develops as a result of opioid receptor dissociation, leading to uncontrolled consumption (Eichmeyer & Zhang, 2022). However, it is a common misconception that individuals can choose to stop their addiction. In spite of this, withdrawal symptoms might include excruciating bone and muscular pain, runny nose, yawning, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, irritability, and anxiety. Another factor to consider when trying to understand the complexities of addiction is prescription medication history. The medical history of a person is always the deciding factor in whether or not they develop a drug addiction.

Meets the Substance Use Disorder Criteria

The DSM-5 describes drug addiction as a pattern of dysfunctional behaviors that significantly impairs one’s ability to control one’s drug use, social functioning, and overall well-being (Arterberry et al., 2019). Opioid addiction is a long-term (chronic) disease that can lead to serious medical, personal, and social issues. Opioids are a type of drug that works on the nervous system to generate emotions of relaxation and a healing process (Strang et al., 2020). Brad was addicted to the drug that he will do anything to get her next dose if he doesn’t have any. Samantha’s health appears to be fine so far, except for hepatitis C. She did not have a good relationship with her family because she didn’t care about them and was only into money and cigarettes. Soon after Brad introduced Sam to heroin, the two got married, and their narcotic codependency did become the basis of their marriage. However, according to brain imaging and neurobehavioral scientific research, “addiction” is separate from opioid use and is now best described as a chronic illness (Boyda et al., 2020)

PSYC FPX 4300 Assessment 2 Off to the Intervention We Go

Current stage

Drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation can be defined as a journey from substance dependence to a better and healthier lifestyle. The procedure is lengthy and difficult. Addicts require the most assistance and care to abstain from drugs to split the intoxicating vicious circle (Messina & Worley, 2019). It appears that Sam and Brad’s drug-fueled codependency (what stage) became the foundation of their connection. Brad shows severe symptoms, such as severe stomach pain and shortness of breath, but it appears that Sam does not show extensive damage, except for haptics C. Brads finally says yes to the intervention of taking rehab separately in the closing moments of the episode. Even though Brad does not want to leave Samantha, he first refuses the treatment, but in at the end, Samantha pursues him to get sober and clean.

Rehabilitation Appropriateness

Their families are desperate for Sam and Brad to get clean. However, they aren’t able to work together as a team. After an intervention, Sam convinces him to seek help; even so, Brad does not want to leave Samantha, so he refuses the separate treatment, but in the end, Samantha and Brad end up taking the treatment separately to become sober and clean. Although Brad and Sam needed level 1 or multiple levels of care to achieve long-term recovery, depending on the severity of their addiction, as well as for them Inpatient and residential rehab programs are live-in solutions that provide supervised treatment and structured care plans to help individuals overcome drug dependency (Beetham et al., 2021). Even so, during treatment, it was discovered that Brad’s stomach pain was caused by liver toxicity and hepatitis C. Both Samantha and Brad completed treatment, but Brad was discarded after 86 days for violating several rules. Brad and Samantha have been sober since September 20, 2017.


To sum up, Sam and Brad’s battle with drug addiction appears to have started when they have prescribed incredibly strong painkillers. I believe that opioids could have saved thousands of lives and livelihoods if they had been prescribed, dosed, and regulated more carefully from the start. It’s eye-opening to see how even family members who don’t understand addictive behavior add to the pressure.

PSYC FPX 4300 Assessment 2 Off to the Intervention We Go


Arterberry, B. J., Boyd, C. J., West, B. T., Schepis, T. S., & McCabe, S. E. (2019). DSM-5 Substance use disorders among college-age young adults in the United States: Prevalence, remission, and treatment. Journal of American College Health, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2019.1590368 

 Beetham, T., Saloner, B., Gaye, M., Wakeman, S. E., Frank, R. G., & Barnett, M. L. (2021). Admission practices and cost of care for opioid use disorder at residential addiction treatment programs in The US. Health Affairs, 40(2), 317–325. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00378

Boyda, S., Ivsins, A., & Murrayc, D. (2020). Problematizing the DSM-5 criteria for opioid use disorder: A qualitative analysis. International Journal of Drug Policy, 78, 102690. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102690

Browne, C. J., Godino, A., Salery, M., & Nestler, E. J. (2019). Epigenetic mechanisms of opioid addiction. Biological Psychiatry, 87(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.06.027

Eichmeyer, S., & Zhang, J. (2022). Pathways into opioid dependence: evidence from practice variation in emergency departments. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 14(4), 271–300. https://doi.org/10.1257/app.20210048

Klimas, J., Gorfinkel, L., Fairbairn, N., Amato, L., Ahamad, K., Nolan, S., Simel, D. L., & Wood, E. (2019). Strategies to identify patient risks of prescription opioid addiction when initiating opioids for pain. JAMA Network Open, 2(5), e193365. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.3365

Koob, G. F. (2019). Neurobiology of opioid addiction: opponent process, hyperkatifeia, and negative reinforcement. Biological Psychiatry, 87(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.05.023

Messina, B. G., & Worley, M. J. (2019). Effects of craving on opioid use are attenuated after pain-coping counseling in adults with chronic pain and prescription opioid addiction. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 87(10), 918–926. https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000399

Soffin, E. M., Lee, B. H., Kumar, K. K., & Wu, C. L. (2018). The prescription opioid crisis: Role of the anaesthesiologist in reducing opioid use and misuse. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 122(6). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bja.2018.11.019

Strang, J., Volkow, N. D., Degenhardt, L., Hickman, M., Johnson, K., Koob, G. F., Marshall, B. D. L., Tyndall, M., & Walsh, S. L. (2020). Opioid use disorder. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 6(1), 1–28. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41572-019-0137-5

Wang, S.-C., Chen, Y.-C., Lee, C.-H., & Cheng, C.-M. (2019). opioid addiction, genetic susceptibility, and medical treatments: a review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(17). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20174294


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