smokingA mother meets with a social worker because she is worried about her 16-year-old son's substance abuse. She reports catching him smoking marijuana several times. He says pot is "not a big deal" and is not interested in seeking help. What is the BEST suggestion the social worker can make to ensure the mother does not enable her son?

A. The social worker should advise the mother to kick her son out of the house immediately until he has quit using drugs.

B. The social worker should advise the mother to stop giving her son an allowance, since he might use the money to buy drugs.

C. The social worker should advise the mother to stop spending time with her son as punishment for his drug use.

D. The social worker should advise the mother to take her son to see a substance abuse counselor whether he wants to or not.

What's your answer?

Sometimes the social work exam is testing for common sense. You don't need an MSW to answer this question correctly. You're being asked about enabling. Find the answer the involves enabling.

Rule out A because the woman's son is a minor. The threat of less time with mom is not likely to be all that powerful to a sixteen-year-old, so scratch C. Counseling may be helpful, but what are the chances the teen would agree to participate? That eliminates D. And you're left with the best of the offered answers: B, stop paying out cash that's likely being used to purchase the pot.

An approach to teen MJ use that included more exploration about the son's functioning, family dynamics, etc., might have been nice to see here, but it's not one of your choices. And that wouldn't address enabling. On the ASWB exam, you're stuck with the questions and the answers that you're given. Take the best one, pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and move on.

Happy studying and good luck on the exam.

October 12, 2019
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