Descriptive Essay

Being aware of your own professional values and personal morals
in your decision making influences your practices. When faced with
an ethical dilemma, mental health professionals examine the
situation and determine how the ethical principles relate to the
situation. For this 4- to 6-page descriptive essay, read the case
study and discuss the six ethical guiding principles for an ethical
decision-making model as a mental health professional in a
professional setting, such as an addictions counselor.
Scenario: What Would You Do?
Ms. Jackson is a substance abuse professional who has been
providing addiction counseling to 28-year-old Mr. Anderson for a
month. Mr. Anderson smokes cannabis daily and occasionally uses
heroin, which he says helps him manage his anxiety and
depression. Ms. Jackson has been addressing Mr. Anderson’s daily
cannabis usage and his occasional use of heroin.
Mr. Anderson arrives late to his appointment, and he is disheveled.
Mr. Anderson explains that his friend overdosed on opioids the night
before. Mr. Anderson claims to have been in the emergency room
for the past 2 hours. His friend will most likely survive but may have
long-term cognitive problems. Mr. Anderson reports to Ms. Jackson
that he feels guilty because he introduced his friend to his cousin,
who is a drug dealer. Mr. Anderson’s friend came by to visit first
before purchasing the drugs. Mr. Anderson obtains his cannabis
and heroin from his cousin as well.
After processing the events of the previous evening, Mr. Anderson
states he plans to relocate and have no further contact with the drug
dealer. He vows he will no longer associate with his cousin. The
police are actively investigating the situation with his friend’s
overdose, and Mr. Anderson does not want to get involved. After
discussing the situation with Ms. Jackson, Mr. Anderson starts to
feel better and schedules his next appointment.
Ms. Jackson is disturbed and preoccupied by Mr. Anderson’s story.
She knows the drug dealer’s name from the previous sessions and
can figure out the address of the drug dealer based on her client’s
address. Ms. Jackson is contemplating making an anonymous call
to the police. Ms. Jackson is aware of the increase in opioid use in
the community. She recognizes her struggle with moral outrage and
a sense of injustice in the situation. Ms. Jackson is faced with a
dilemma to report or not to report anonymously to the police. What
would you do in Ms. Jackson’s situation?
• Identify and explain your choice of a specific ethical decisionmaking model. Explain why it would be beneficial to the
• Discuss the ethical principles applicable in this scenario.
• Discuss three potential positive outcomes and three potential
negative outcomes that might result from Ms. Jackson making
an anonymous tip to the police.
• Describe how your own professional values and personal
morals would influence your decision making if you were in
Ms. Jackson’s position.
• As an alternative outcome, discuss your ethical decisionmaking process related to the ethical principles if Mr.
Anderson’s friend had died.
Directions for Submitting Your Assignment
Your assignment should be a 4-6-page descriptive essay, not
including the title and reference pages, and should include the
following elements:
• Title page: Provide your name, title of assignment, course and
section number, and date.
• Body: Answer all the questions in complete sentences and
◦ Your responses should reflect professional writing
standards, using proper tone and language. The writing
and writing style should be correct and accurate, and
reflect knowledge of skills and practice in the human
service profession.
• Reference page: Sources listed in APA format.
• Use Arial or Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced
and left aligned.
• Use standard 1″ margins on all sides.
• Use APA formatting and citation style.