Module 12: working with intoxicated young people: learner's workbook

2.3 The four L's model

Page last updated: 2004

Another useful model for understanding the nature and extent of drug-related difficulties is one which considers the actual nature of the difficulties experienced. While Thorley's model looks at patterns of use and related problems, the Four L's model, (adapted by Roizen) considers the impact of drug use on four major spheres a young person's life. These are as follows:

  • Liver: Anything to do with a person's health including physical, psychological or emotional health problems

  • Lover: Problems associated with a person's relationships, family, friends, children, lovers etc.

  • Lifestyle/livelihood: Problems which relate accommodation, work, finances, education, recreation etc.

  • Legal: Any problems associated with the law including criminal or civil proceedings.
Like Thorley's model, the Four L's model is extremely useful for frontline workers. It assists them to work out the types of problems or difficulties being experienced by a young person. This model can be applied during an initial or more comprehensive assessment of a young person as it enables the worker to establish the most urgent areas for intervention. If a young person is experiencing difficulties in all four spheres of life it may indicate that they are dependent upon drugs. Once drug use starts to affect every aspect of daily life it becomes a major issue of concern and will require further exploration with the young person.