Addiction in the “Flight” Film and Intervention Plan

Introduction

Unfortunately, there are many people dependent on drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances all over the world. This problem has remained one of the most common causes of deaths within the last two centuries. Individuals with the addictions described above have a plethora of problems with their families, friends, colleagues, and other people who surround them daily. It is essential to address alcoholism or drug dependency as soon as possible as an intoxicated person might cause tremendous harm to other people. A bright example of this addiction is demonstrated and discussed in the plot of the film called “Flight” directed by Robert Zemeckis. The main character of the story was addicted to both spirit drinks and cocaine. The following paper is intended to develop an addiction assessment and intervention plan using the case of the pilot from the “Flight” picture to show possible consequences that might emerge in a person’s life because of alcoholism.

Biopsychosocial Model

The context of this section will discuss the biopsychosocial model of the client (the pilot from the “Flight” film). To start the discussion, it would be proper to say that the central plot of the picture was about a divorced alcoholic who managed to prevent the flight he was piloting from being a mass homicide (Zemeckis, 2012). The plane crashed due to particular technical issues in its controlling mechanisms. Nevertheless, two flight attendants and four passengers on board faced traumas abhorrent to life. Investigation of the given case detected that the airman was dependent on alcohol and cocaine, which gave the workers of the CIA a legal right to put the main character in jail.

Biological Predispositions

Although there was not much said in the previously mentioned film about the main character’s biography, it is known that Whip Whitaker (the name of the pilot) was divorced and did not have any connections with his only son because the child was angry at his father for inappropriate behavior and lifestyle as for a mature man (Zemeckis, 2012). The primary biological predisposition of Mister Whitaker is the alcohol addiction that he cannot cope with for an extended period. He tried to quit drinking several times during the post-catastrophe events. However, every attempt was not successful, until the pilot was jailed and deprived of access to spirit drinks (Zemeckis, 2012). It seems that Whip Whitaker’s mind is overwhelmed with thoughts about the family he left and the deaths of people that he is responsible for according to the U.S. law. All these stresses led to a systematic and permanent intoxication of the main character as he could not find another way out of this depression.

Family Influences

As it is already mentioned above, Mister Whitaker did not communicate with his ex-wife and child. Instead, he had an informal relationship with his colleague who died during the emergency landing of the crashed plane. Perhaps, the death of Katerina Marquez hurt the pilot’s psychological state of mind. Another problem is the destiny of Whip Whitaker’s new girlfriend that was thankful to him for defending her from another man and giving the drug-addicted person a place to stay (Zemeckis, 2012). Nevertheless, she could not stand his alcohol addiction and stubbornness. Therefore, she decided to bring this relationship to an end by leaving the pilot’s house. In conclusion, it would be proper to state that Whitaker’s family had a significant impact on the main character’s emotional state and world perception in general.

Cultural Considerations

There are not many cultural factors that are essential to consider in this case as Whip Whitaker is a regular American citizen without any specific background. He learned and had a passion for piloting a plane since childhood (Zemeckis, 2012). The main character of “Flight” is not a believer and does not relate to any cultural minority.

Nervous System

The nervous system played a significant part in Mister Whitaker’s life. Sometimes, the pilot could not cope with his emotions and was very expressive as a result. It is possible to see that he is worried about the potential consequences of the plane catastrophe that remained on his responsibility (Zemeckis, 2012). Perhaps, both permanent depression and stress gave the pilot a desire to consume spirit drinks daily. The main character did not have enough volition to stop drinking. Moreover, he had to take cocaine to remain conscious during the days of the flight and deposition session.

Assessment Tools and Selection Rationale

In the case with Mister Whitaker, it would be advantageous to use several addiction assessment tools because the pilot always tells lies and uncertain information about his intoxication. Therefore, the CAGE Questionnaire would be helpful to identify the patient’s problem as this information is confidential and is intended to be used only for the person’s medical history and intervention (Kennedy & Gregoire, 2009). The set of questions included in this interview requires a patient to tell about the number of attempts to quit consuming alcohol or drugs. Also, this test addresses the emotional state of the patient. Usually, people try to answer honestly as their addictions are always related to more significant psychological problems. As Mister Whitaker’s alcoholism stems from his awkward relationships with the family he left, his answer would identify the main factor that has to be addressed during the intervention.

In turn, the TWEAK (Tolerance, Worried, Eye-opener, Amnesia, Cut down) test would be useful for determining the seriousness of the addiction problem of a client. The questions included in the given assessment tool are intended to create a numeral scale of a patient’s recognition and readiness to face the problem (Kennedy & Gregoire, 2009). Also, the test will show how an individual understands and evaluates other people’s concerns about one’s alcohol or drug addiction. This tool is necessary for developing appropriate treatment and intervention methods in the case of Whip Whitaker because this might make him realize how he burdens his colleagues, family, and friends with his permanent alcoholism. It would be proper to state that a person has to understand all the issues one is causing to other people. Such an approach is the most effective method to address and eliminate the psychological problem of the “Flight” film main character.

As it is mentioned above, Whip Whitaker was using cocaine to cope with hangovers and remain active. Therefore, it is necessary to ask the patient to undergo the Drug Abuse Questionnaire. This assessment tool will provide all the important information about the pilot’s drug addiction (Kennedy & Gregoire, 2009). It requires an interviewee to answer the questions about one’s drug expenses and the frequency of the use of synthetic substances. This questionnaire is intended to determine whether a patient’s problem overweighs his or her life values or not. Also, this assessment tool provides information about the first drug use of an individual and how long one has been addicted to cocaine, heroin, and other types of medicaments that affect the human brain.

Provisional Diagnosis with Criteria

According to the symptoms and behavior of the “Flight” film main character, Mister Whitaker’s provisional diagnosis is Alcohol Use Disorder. The man had intoxication for one month before and after the plane catastrophe described previously. Although the diagnosis is not accurate yet due to the lack of appropriate analyses and evidence, several criteria might help one arrive at such a conclusion. The pilot was trying to quit drinking more than once (Kennedy & Gregoire, 2009). However, he did not have enough volition to refuse to drink with access to alcohol. Also, the patient spent a tremendous amount of time for spirit drinks consumption and coping with multiple hangovers. Indeed, alcoholism hurt Whip Whitaker’s family relationship, career, and friendship (Zemeckis, 2012). Nevertheless, he continued overusing high drinks knowing that they cause a plethora of issues in his life. All the criteria described above prove that the diagnosis of AUD is precise. There are no alternative considerations or rule-outs noted.

Therapeutic Approach with Rationale

It would be proper to state that people with Alcohol Use Disorder have to be restricted to alcohol during the appropriate treatment process. Otherwise, they might not have enough volition to cope with another desire to drink (Gubi & Marsden-Hughes, 2013). The rehabilitation term should be controlled by a professional therapist that is intended to prescribe beneficial medicaments listed below:

  • Naltrexone. This medicament is useful for alcohol addicted patients as it blocks certain cells in one’s brain that make a person experience euphoria while consuming spirit drinks (Gubi & Marsden-Hughes, 2013). Therefore, an individual does not have any satisfaction when drinking.
  • Disulfiram. The suggested drug causes by-effects to a person who drinks alcohol. Such symptoms as a flushed skin or nausea might lead to unpleasant conditions sometimes (Gubi & Marsden-Hughes, 2013). Therefore, people who take this medicine try to avoid consuming liquids that contain a certain percentage of alcohol.
  • Acamprosate. This pharmacological product reduces the desire to drink. Usually, it is applied to the patients who want to stop consuming alcohol drinks but always have a passion for opening another bottle.

Initial Treatment Goals for Client

The client should be interested in one’s treatment process. Otherwise, it might not be effective. Therefore, it is essential to set treatment goals for an alcoholic. Medical personnel must aim at providing psychological help to a patient as the majority of alcohol-addicted people suffer from such problems as depression or wrong deeds that they regret (Davies, Elison, Ward, & Laudet, 2015). Another initial goal is to understand an individual’s problems and make one realize that spirit drinks cannot help to resolve his or her issues.

Ethical and Legal Considerations

The Alcohol Use Disorder treatment is a personal and shameful concern of a patient. Therefore, it is essential to follow all the ethical and legal standards when dealing with such a problem. It is a well-known fact that the majority of alcoholics are afraid or ashamed to admit their addiction issues. To make a person comfortable and address the AUD diagnosis properly, it is necessary to avoid discussing and blaming a client for being an alcoholic. This ethical rule should be followed by nurses and doctors who participate in the treatment procedures. Otherwise, a patient might lose one’s faith in the fact that he or she can cope with the emerged problem. Also, it would be advantageous to make compliments and raise a person’s mood every day to help one see other people’s support. Professional medical workers should not be rude to a client, regardless of one’s previous deeds. The appropriate approach makes an individual feel better and eliminates the desire to drink.

Medical personnel should keep all the AUD treatment information confidential unless it is not prohibited by a patient (Stevens et al., 2014). Also, every client should be informed about all the confidentiality limits and practices used during the rehabilitation term. Every alcohol-dependent patient has to be aware of all the outcomes caused by the treatment procedures. Also, people cannot be deprived of their legal right to receive medical help due to their socioeconomic status, race, ethnic background, and other minority factors.

Relapse Prevention and Plan Continuum

It is essential to mention that not every person benefits from Alcohol Use Disorder intervention as some patients might relapse due to the lack of control and volition. Therefore, it is advantageous to keep a patient away from various alcohol drinks. Some individuals think that another sip cannot cause much harm to their health and try to quit time after time (Brorson, Arnevik, Rand-Hendriksen, & Duckert, 2013). To prevent such a desire, it would be proper to motivate a client with the help of certain achievements that one cannot reach consuming alcohol. Psychological help is very useful in such instances as a professional doctor is intended to discuss various issues that an alcoholic has to cope with daily. Usually, people want to relapse when they do not see any changes in their lives after refusing to consume spirit drinks. To prevent multiple relapses, it is also necessary to prove to an alcoholic that a high percentage of drinks are not attractive and that people are not satisfied after drinking. As it is mentioned above, the Naltrexone medicament might be helpful in such a case. Moreover, it would be advantageous for a person with AUD to communicate and remain in the society of people at the same treatment stage (Brorson et al., 2013). To meet new individuals that might become one’s friends or support an addicted individual, patients are highly recommended to attend the meetings of anonymous alcoholics.

Nurses and psychologists might provide cognitive-behavioral therapy to their clients. Such an intervention method helps patients to determine particular feelings or situations that usually lead to the desire to drink (Brorson et al., 2013). As a result, an individual analyzes his or her stresses and tries to stop spirit drinks consumption. Also, a client becomes less stressed and is likely to leave all the depressions behind.

Once positive results are achieved, a person can be given a right to go home from a rehabilitation center. However, medical personnel must give a patient’s family basic recommendations as to the future treatment process and their relative’s relapse prevention. Usually, such pieces of advice are given to spouses, parents, and children (if they are more than twenty-one years old). This intervention method shows positive statistics as to the improvement of family members’ relationships (Brorson et al., 2013). All people who surround an ex-alcoholic daily must provide strong emotional support to a client. This method prevents relapses and makes a person consider other activities or professions to be occupied within the alcohol-free future.

Conclusion & Summary

The main character of the film “Flight,” Whip Whitaker, had an alcohol addiction according to the plot. He occupied the position of an airline licensed pilot in one of the biggest companies on the market. Unfortunately, the plane controlled by Mister Whitaker crashed in the middle of a field due to the absence of a free runway at the moment of the aircraft’s emergency landing. Although the main character managed to rescue almost every person on board, further investigation by federals showed that he was an alcoholic and took cocaine before piloting another flight. Although the main problem that caused the catastrophe was one of the plane’s broken parts, Mister Whitaker was jailed because he was piloting the aircraft while coping with a hangover. As it is mentioned above, the client is suspected of having the Alcohol Use Disorder diagnosis as more than three disease criteria match the patient’s state of mind and lifestyle. In the given case, it would be advantageous to treat the person by using such medicaments as Naltrexone, Disulfiram, and Acamprosate. These drugs reduce the desire to consume spirit drinks. Also, it is necessary to provide the patient with psychological help as such an intervention might help resolve particular stresses and other issues in the main character’s nervous system. In conclusion, the client has to be emotionally supported during the treatment process. When an individual is not addicted to alcohol anymore, one’s family members must help their relatives to socialize again and live a new life.

References

Brorson, H. H., Arnevik, E. A., Rand-Hendriksen, K., & Duckert, F. (2013). Drop-out from addiction treatment: A systematic review of risk factors. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(8), 1010-1024. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2013.07.007

Davies, G., Elison, S., Ward, J., & Laudet, A. (2015). The role of lifestyle in perpetuating substance use disorder: The lifestyle balance model. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 10(1), 2-9. doi:10.1186/1747-597x-10-2

Gubi, P. M., & Marsden-Hughes, H. (2013). Exploring the processes involved in long-term recovery from chronic alcohol addiction within an abstinence-based model: Implications for practice. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 13(3), 201-209. doi:10.1080/14733145.2012.733716

Kennedy, K., & Gregoire, T. K. (2009). Theories of motivation in addiction treatment: Testing the relationship of the transtheoretical model of change and self-determination theory. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 9(2), 163-183. doi:10.1080/15332560902852052

Stevens, L., Verdejo-García, A., Goudriaan, A. E., Roeyers, H., Dom, G., & Vanderplasschen, W. (2014). Impulsivity as a vulnerability factor for poor addiction treatment outcomes: A review of neurocognitive findings among individuals with substance use disorders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 47(1), 58-72. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2014.01.008

Zemeckis, R. (Director). (2012). Flight [Video file]. Web.