5P Model Case Formulation [Case Study Example]

5P Model: Case Study of Carrie

Carrie is a 21-year-old female who has been referred to you by a close associate of her father’s. The father informed you that Carrie’s life is spiralling out of control and that she hangs out at a known drug den in her neighbourhood. She often smells of alcohol in the mornings and seems quite distant. Last week the police raided the drug den and arrested 5 people for possession of heroin.

Recently Carrie was involved in a car accident, she was the passenger, which left two pedestrians badly injured in hospital. Carrie doesn’t recall much of the accident, nor does she show any care about the people who were injured.

Carrie’s father, Jack, calls you and is clearly upset. He tells you Carrie was an excellent student and a lovely child until she started high school. He noticed that Carrie was becoming moody and withdrawn during high school. The local GP referred her to a Psychiatrist. Tests were carried out which led to the diagnoses of anxiety and depression while in high school. The Psychiatrist recommended that Carrie take a mild anti-depressant for 6 months.

5P Model

She didn’t return to the Psychiatrist, but Jack stated that with the help of a very good school counsellor she were able to get through the dark periods. After high school Carrie completed an apprenticeship as a pastry chef, but has not looked for paid work. Jack told you that Carrie was very close to her grandmother who died when Carrie was 10. She was the only living grandparent, but they thought she had handled the death quite well, like the rest of the family.

Carrie is looking very thin and is monosyllabic to her mother and 2 younger sisters (they are 15 and 17 years) when they try to find out what she does and where she goes when she stays out all night. Carrie looks unwell and fragile.

5P Model: Case Study of Mac

Mac is 25 and recently started a great job in exactly the industry he wanted, animation. He works incredibly long hours, sometimes into the night and early morning. The team is eager and love what they do, except in order to stay awake there is some drug taking, that of methamphetamine or ice. Sometimes it is mixed with cocaine and everyone is high for hours at a time.

This does not diminish the team’s capabilities to produce the finished product, in fact, it does the opposite and really enhances the creative output from the team. People in the team are really nice, and totally accepting of Mac. He is very fortunate he found this job, but he thinks he is now becoming hooked on ice and can feel when the habit is kicking in.

Mac doesn’t want to lose his job, nor his new-found friends, but he is worried something else is happening for him, a dependence on ice. He says he tries to refuse it at times, but is then considered to be an outsider and gets the cold shoulder at times.

Mac lives in an apartment on his own. He has an adoptive family who were really kind to him, but now he is older he finds he doesn’t have a lot in common with any of them. The family consist of Mum, Eliza, Father, Geraldo. They have two children who are grown up now, Tom who is 28 and Marika now 30. They also live independently, so the Mother and Father are now on their own.

Mac feels like he should visit them on a regular basis, but they live the other side of Sydney (he is in Bondi, they are at Manly) and he doesn’t always get the time to see them, it is usually a whole day. He understands that his biological Mother was a heroin user, but he never really found out the truth. Nobody knows what happened to the biological Father, and if there are any other siblings.

Mac presents well, he is neat and tidy and has a cheerful disposition. He is looking to you for direction and he has a lot of shame around the fact that he is now probably an addict. He hasn’t told anyone else about how he feels and what he has been doing. Mac feels like he hasn’t got any close friends that he can confide in. He tells you he doesn’t make friends easily. Mac has never had a girlfriend because he has been busy studying animation, having initially studied graphic design for two years, then changed totally to his true passion.

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Case Study 5P Model Example

The Presenting Problem

The client’s name is Mac, a 25-year-old graphic designer who reports early symptoms of addiction; a habit he picked up in is his new work environment, which he loves. His new colleagues abuse methamphetamine and cocaine, which boosts their performance at work.

Even though the team accepts Mac, they seem to isolate him when he tries to quit doing the drugs. Mac is an adopted child as a result of his mother’s addiction to heroin. His adopting family is loving, but they live far away, and he has no friends and assessment, meaning that he lacks a sound support system.

Predisposing factors

5P Model Question to Mac

  • How much methamphetamine do you use?
  • When did you discover that you needed help?
  • Why do you date?
  • Do you think your addition has a connection with your mother?
  • Do you think you will overcome the problem?

Environmental influences

Mac’s addiction problem’s most significant environmental influence is his new working environment, as he reports no prior addiction problems. Mac’s new teammates are highly resourceful and creative, but they abuse so many drugs that it is a team’s habit. Therefore, they are a source of peer pressure to Mac, as they seem to expect Mac to be part of the drug-abusing culture.

According to Somani & Meghani (2016), peers have a huge impact on people’s decision-making process and may influence a person to engage in socially acceptable or unacceptable behaviors. Most people engage in drug use concerning drug use due to being pressured by people familiar to them. This peer group seems to have consequences that force their members to comply with their culture, as they seem to isolate anybody who resists.

Other than Mac’s team, the nature of Mac’s job is also an environmental factor to his drug problem, involving much creativity. Psychoactive substances such as methamphetamine are known to boost artistic capabilities concerning artistic creativity (Corazza et al., 2020).

Another evident environmental factor in Mac’s addiction is the lack of a healthy social interaction in his life. Mac lives alone since his adoptive family; they live far away in Sydney, and therefore he cannot meet them as much as he wants. He has no close relatives and does not date. This social isolation environment predisposes Mac more to drug use (Wu et al., 2016).

The precipitating factor to Mac’s addiction is his new job, while multiple factors have predisposed him to the drug problem. The lack of socialization in his life beyond his colleagues predisposes him to drug use due to the loneliness. In addition to this, his passion for his job and it being an intensively creative job also predisposes him to drug use (González-Bueso et al., 2018).

5P Model Case Formulation

5P Model: Precipitating factors

History of Co-morbidity

There are multiple factors on a play that is predisposing mark more to addiction, including the fact that Mac’s biological mother is a heroin addict. According to Datta et al. (2020), history has a major role in addiction problems, like the predisposition to addiction is 50 percent due to poor coping skills and 50 percent due to genetics. The loneness in Mac’s life also makes him more prone to addiction.

Matias et al. (2020) argue that there is a connection between addiction and loneliness as lonely people turn to drug and alcohol abuse while pursuing comfort. Mac, however, has no history of drug use and lacks co-occurring mental disorders like stress and depression since he still has a cheerful disposition. Mac, however, feels the shame of being an addict, especially because his mother is a heroin addict, which may predispose his to more drug use.

5P Model: Perpetuating factors Risk assessment

The key risk factor in the client’s life is his mother’s history of addiction to heroin. Studies have shown that genetics about half of the predisposition to addiction is due to drug use. “Genetics” is a term that encompasses parents to child inherited genes over generations (Fried et al.,. 2020). People with addiction problems tend to have children at a higher risk of addiction than the average child.

Mac’s predisposition to addiction is mainly due to his new working environment and has no other influences in other aspects of his life. In addition to this, Mac admitted to having a drug problem, which makes him a low-risk client. Denial plays a major role in addiction, as addicts often ignore the negative consequences of their habit. It is a defense mechanism used by people to protect them from the bad emotional reaction of conscious thought (Pickard, 2020).

5P Model: Protective factors Client’s support network

Mac has no support network as he lives alone, and his parents live far away from him. He does not date and has no close friends (Fried et al., 2020). At work, he feels only under the condition that he does drugs with his colleagues. This heavily impairs his capability to resist the addiction habit. A sound support system is very vital to the way one processes their thoughts and tendencies.

The lack of it makes Mac more prone to peer pressure at work. For Mac to recover from his addiction problem, he has to surround himself with healthy persons. He needs the help of Eliza, Geraldo, or any of his adopted siblings. The support system gives the patient a platform for them to be heard; for example, some of the improvements they have noticed and their challenges with sobriety (Llewellyn-Beardsley et al., 2019).

5P Model: Appropriate intervention goals for the client,

  • End Mac’s dependence on methamphetamine
  • Substantially improve Mac’s social life by encouraging him to get a friend or even date. This will help reduce his isolation.
  • Encourage Mac to leave the current work environment by getting another job

Treatment plan

Mac’s treatment plan will rely heavily on his readiness to change and motivation. Motivations entail thoughts accompanied by emotional commitments. Mac seems motivated toe to the fact that he sought for help early. However, he needs to have a vague sense of motivation (Sayette & Dimoff, 2016).

Mac’s treatment plan would also focus on his strengths, like his passion for his job. The treatment plan would also set goals for his best interest, such as reporting the drug use culture to the relevant authorities. The treatment plan would also entail a linkage to community treatment.

5P Model: Propensity for relapse

Relapse is very frustrating and humiliating to any recovering addict. It causes guilt, shame and often leads to more irresponsible drug abuse (LeMar, 2020). The likelihood of Mac to relapse depends on several factors like whether he gets a good support system. His propensity to relapse also depends on whether he gets another job or reports the drug culture. He also needs to either report the drug use to the relevant authorities or get another job.

5P Model: Implementation of remedial measures

Incase Mac relapses, his recovery process shall need by getting a better support system and perhaps getting his family’s help. He can also go to a rehabilitation center facility and get more specialized help. Mac can also be encouraged to start over the rehabilitation process (Love et al., 2020).

5P Model Case Formulation


  • Somani, S., & Meghani, S. (2016). Substance abuse among youth: A harsh reality. Emerg Med (Los Angel)6(330), 2.
  • Corazza, O., Coloccini, S., Marrinan, S., Vigar, M., Watkins, C., Zene, C., … & Metastasio, A. (2020). Novel Psychoactive Substances in Custodial Settings: A Mixed Method Investigation on the Experiences of People in Prison and Professionals Working With Them. Frontiers in Psychiatry11, 460.
  • Sayette, M. A., & Dimoff, J. D. (2016). In search of anticipatory cigarette cravings: The impact of perceived smoking opportunity and motivation to seek treatment. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors30(3), 277.
  • LeMar, M. D. (2020). Overcoming Stigma with Dialogue: My Experiences as a Parent of an Opiate Addict.
  • Fried, L., Modestino, E. J., Siwicki, D., Lott, L., Thanos, P. K., Baron, D., … & Gondré-Lewis, M. C. (2020). Hypodopaminergia and “Precision Behavioral Management” (PBM): It is a Generational Family Affair. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology21(6), 528-541.
  • Llewellyn-Beardsley, J., Rennick-Egglestone, S., Callard, F., Crawford, P., Farkas, M., Hui, A., … & Sælør, K. T. (2019). Characteristics of mental health recovery narratives: systematic review and narrative synthesisPLoS One14(3), e0214678.
  • Matias, T., Dominski, F. H., & Marks, D. F. (2020). Human needs in COVID-19 isolation.
  • Datta, U., Schoenrock, S. E., Bubier, J. A., Bogue, M. A., Jentsch, J. D., Logan, R. W., … & Chesler, E. J. (2020). Prospects for finding the mechanisms of sex differences in addiction with human and model organism genetic analysis. Genes, Brain and Behavior19(3), e12645.
  • Pickard, H. (2020). Addiction and the self. Noûs.
  • González-Bueso, V., Santamaría, J. J., Fernández, D., Merino, L., Montero, E., Jiménez-Murcia, S., … & Ribas, J. (2018). Internet gaming disorder in adolescents: Personality, psychopathology and evaluation of a psychological intervention combined with parent psychoeducation. Frontiers in psychology9, 787.
  • Wu, X. S., Zhang, Z. H., Zhao, F., Wang, W. J., Li, Y. F., Bi, L., … & Gong, F. F. (2016). Prevalence of Internet addiction and its association with social support and other related factors among adolescents in China. Journal of Adolescence52, 103-111.
  • Love, B., Vetere, A., & Davis, P. (2020). Understanding addiction, relapse and recovery amongst substance using offenders–a qualitative study informed by developmental psychological theories. Drugs and Alcohol Today.

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