Prescription Fraud – Substance abuse or Substance dependence

Read the case below on prescription fraud and use Diagnostic Statistic Manual IV to determine if Fran has  substance abuse or substance dependence , then provide a summary of the symptoms necessary to diagnose the two disorders.

Fran S. was arrested for prescription fraud when she tried to obtain prescription painkillers at a pharmacy with a fake prescription.Fran S. is a 32-year-old employee at a local bank. She was briefly hospitalized after a car accident 14 months ago and sustained injuries to her neck and back. Her doctor prescribed painkillers for these injuries. He told her that she should only take the painkillers for a few months, but Fran found that she liked the feelings of calm and relaxation that the painkillers produced. Even though the pain from her neck and back went away, she kept telling her doctor that she was in pain so that he would continue prescribing the drugs. When her own doctor told her that he would no longer prescribe the painkillers for her, she found it difficult to go for more than a few days without the painkillers and found another doctor who would prescribe her painkillers.

Fran told herself that the painkillers helped her get through her day, but in fact, she started missing deadlines at work and repeatedly coming in late, putting her job in jeopardy. Her husband also noticed a difference in her behavior, saying that she was much more irritable and likely to start arguments over minor issues, which had not been a problem in the past. Fran started taking larger doses of the painkillers because she had stopped feeling their effects at the smaller doses. Her second doctor became suspicious of how frequently she needed prescriptions and refused to prescribe her any more drugs. Fran tried again to stop using the painkillers but found that she was experiencing problems, such as headaches, blurred vision, and anxiety, when she was not taking the painkillers. She could not find another doctor to prescribe her the painkillers, so Fran started submitting fake prescriptions to the pharmacy.

Assignment Instructions

The Diagnostic Statistic Manual IV (DSM-IV) lists the criteria for assessing whether a person involved in prescription fraud has a substance abuse disorder, which it divides into two classifications: substance abuse and substance dependence.

Use your available resources to research DSM-IV criteria for these disorders.

Assignment Guidelines

In a Word document of 1,000-2,000 words, address the following:
Provide a summary of the symptoms necessary to diagnose substance abuse or substance dependence.
Identify the differences in criteria for assessing substance abuse and substance dependence according to the DSM-IV.
Explain physiological dependence.
What is tolerance?
Why does tolerance increase?
What is withdrawal?
What are the symptoms of withdrawal? Select 2 drugs to analyze for this.
Why does withdrawal occur?
Would you diagnose Fran with substance abuse or substance dependence? Why?
Support your diagnosis with examples and research.
What are current demographics and trends in the abuse of prescription medication? Explain.
What are the contributing factors to these trends and demographics?
Give at least 2 suggestions for how a doctor might work to prevent a patient from becoming addicted to prescription drugs.
Compile your responses to the above information into your final Word document.


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