Case Study: Mark’s Assessment

It is evident that mark is an adolescent who has experienced many changes in his life since he was young. As a result, those changes have affected his emotions leading him to drug abuse and addiction. In most cases, people experience many changes in their lives which results to stress and trauma. If these changes are not handled well and those who are experiencing them do not get support, it can result to drug use as a method of reducing stress. In this case, Mark did not have a strong family support system especially when his father left them when he was young and his mother could barely meet all the basic needs such as shelter. Therefore, there are many factors that can affect someone’s mental health and their behavior.

According to the bio-psychosocial model the best way to assess the medical condition of a person is to consider the biological, psychological and social factors to determine the cause of the underlying condition. When these factors are integrated in assessment, the conclusion made will be efficient (Al Ghaferi, 2017). The fact that Mark is an adolescent, his body is experiencing some hormonal changes that make him vulnerable and emotional. He is unable to cope with all the changes in his life. Moreover, the fact that he is the oldest in his class makes him uncomfortable and he feels that he does not fit in.

Additionally, trauma results to changes in behavior. Mark is probably traumatized by the fact that his father left him when he was only three years old and another man, Danny has moved in with them. He is unable to accept the changes thus his behavior changes in school and he is easily frustrated and emotional. Moreover, he does not get family support to cope with his challenges rather Danny is abusive whenever he makes a mistake while his mother does not treat him with compassion. Whenever he tried to commit suicide, his mother did not handle the situation well as a result, he felt more anger. This encouraged him to abuse substance and isolating himself from his mother and friends.

In addition, low self-esteem is a contributing factor to drug abuse. The fact that Mark was the oldest child in his class made him embarrassed and uncomfortable (Papinczak, 2018). It affected his self-esteem because he felt angry sharing a class with young teenagers. Poor parental support also triggers Mark’s behavior because his step father decides to stay away from family issues.  His threats to run away or commit suicide always gave him freedom to do whatever he wanted. His mother did not have any control over him enabling him to consume excess drugs such as cocaine and marijuana making the situation worse. The parents are not concerned because they do not want to know which drugs Mark is using. They end up assuming he is just an alcoholic. Additionally, it becomes worse when his mother starts drinking alcohol since she is unable to cope with the situation. He gets more freedom because Barb has no time to supervise him thus neglecting him. Also, Danny being away most of the time gave him all the freedom.

Peer pressure is a social factor that can cause drug abuse. Mark is surrounded by people who smoke cigarettes and other substances. He is seen behind the school abusing drugs with his friends and rarely attends classes. It leads to his failure in exams because he is too busy using drugs such that he doesn’t have time to study. His mother gives up while his step father is busy working. Mark does not have any plans to stop drug abuse because Barb is also doing it. It makes him angry and resents Barb because she does not keep her promises.

According to the lifespan perspective, the human development contains changes since a person is born until death. The change in development includes a change in one’s performance such that they neglect their responsibilities (Schepis, 2020). Mark is unable to cope with all the changes taking place in his life and he turns to drugs as his only solution. His addiction makes him unable to fulfill his duties, in this case not being interested in attending classes rather he spends his time abusing drugs with his peers. Moreover, it leads to poor performance in school which will definitely affects his future.

Stress results to Barb’s decision of using alcohol to keep her away from supervising her son which is a form of parental neglect. She makes a bad decision because it makes the situation worse. Mark gets more freedom and uses more types of drugs (McLarnon, 2017). She sets a bad example by turning to alcohol rather than seeking help from rehabilitation centers to help his son recover. Clearly, she neglects her role as a mother by letting Mark forbid her access to his room or when she fails to discipline him because of her fear that he will run away or commit suicide.

Financial constraints made Danny to work far away from the family and he was rarely involved in family matters. The circumstances in the family made it difficult to solve Mark’s drug addiction. It is evident that many factors have contributed to Mark’s drug addiction including the relationship of the family, peers and his mental health. Therefore, the integration of different factors is important because it gives a deeper insight of the causes of drug addiction rather than a single factor. Gaps are identified where improvements have to be made for effective treatment.


Al Ghaferi, H., Bond, C., & Matheson, C. (2017). Does the biopsychosocial-spiritual model of addiction apply in an Islamic context? A qualitative study of Jordanian addicts in treatment. Drug and alcohol dependence172, 14-20.

McLarnon, M. E., Barrett, S. P., Monaghan, T. L., & Stewart, S. H. (2017). Prescription drug misuse across the lifespan: a developmental perspective. In Drug Abuse and Addiction in Medical Illness (pp. 213-230). Springer, New York, NY.

Papinczak, Z. E., Connor, J. P., Harnett, P., & Gullo, M. J. (2018). A biosocial cognitive model of cannabis use in emerging adulthood. Addictive behaviors76, 229-235.

Schepis, T. S., Klare, D. L., Ford, J. A., & McCabe, S. E. (2020). Prescription drug misuse: Taking a lifespan perspective. Substance abuse: research and treatment14, 1178221820909352.