SOCW6103: Response Discussion Questions – Special Needs of Persons With Disabilities (Wk5)

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Respond to at least two of your colleagues by sharing ideas about approaches that an addiction professional might use with persons with disabilities. (Use 3 APA reference, Be detailed in response, use sub-headings)

References

Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2016). Foundations of addictions counseling (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Response to Shannon

Post an explanation of why some individuals with disabilities are not likely to receive treatment for their addiction.

According to Capuzzi and Stauffer (2016), people with disabilities are categorized by their type of disability and their need for assistance based on their functional limitations. A distinguishing factor of people with disabilities is the occurrence of substance abuse related to this population (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). The Office on Disability reported that 25% of people with disabilities in vocational rehabilitation experience problems with substance abuse; people with disabilities and substance abuse experience a low closure rate in vocational rehabilitation (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Studies show that people with disabilities tend to abuse substances at a higher rate than people without disabilities, they have a higher rate of isolation and reduced socialization, and have a higher risk for abusing alcohol and other drug abuse (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Many people with disabilities rationalize their drug and alcohol use on coping with the pain of their disability which is why they are less likely to be open to treatment.

Individuals with disabilities encounter limited access to substance abuse programs that are responsive to their needs due to physical accessibility of the facility (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Specialized treatment is often necessary for people with disabilities and sometimes there are not that many trained professionals available to assess individuals for substance abuse related disorders (Capuzzi & Staufer, 2016).

Describe some risk factors faced by people with disabilities.

People with disabilities abuse drugs and alcohol for the same reasons as people without disabilities such as: stress reduction, cope with anxiety, stress, etc. (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). People with disabilities do however have specific reasons to abuse drugs and alcohol such as: isolation, depression, employment issues, financial issues, a coping mechanism for their disability, and to self-medicate (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Another risk factor is that people with disabilities are more vulnerable and are often taken advantage of financially, sexually, and emotionally (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Another risk factor is that people with disabilities use medications for a long period of time and some of them are prescribed multiple medications; these medication require specific information on how they will react with one another and how the medications will react to drugs and alcohol (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Psychological risk factors include enabling behavior, increased stress on family life, and stress associated to the adjustment of the disability (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Social risk factors include: peer group differences, reduced levels of social support, and isolation (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016).

References

Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2016). Foundations of addictions counseling (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Krahn, G., Farrell, N., Gabriel, R. & Deck, D. (2011). Access barriers to substance abuse treatment for persons with disabilities: An exploratory study. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 31(4), 375-384

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Response to Kristie

An explanation of why some individuals with disabilities are not likely to receive treatment for their addiction.

While addiction affects a sizable number of the population it is estimated to be doubled in adults with disabilities (Office of Disability, 2013, as cited by Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Multi-contributors of the problem along with the resulting stigmatization of the substance abuse disorder along with the coexisting disability are some of the barriers to treatment (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Bio-medical conditions requiring medications, social tolerance, masked identification of use and abuse distort the need for addiction treatment (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Also, persons with disabilities (PWD) are less likely to enter and sustain treatment because of lack of the specialized care and feeling as if their problems are not understood (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Many times, alcohol and drug abuse exist before the disability, and a majority of the traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries occurred while the person was intoxicated (Corrigan, 1995; Radnitz & Tirch, 1995, as cited by West, Graham & Cifu, 2009). Thus, another reason doctors fail to recognize and recommend addiction treatment to PWD (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016).

Describe some of the risk factors for addiction faced by people with disabilities.

Risk factors for addiction are similar among people. However, PWD have significantly more stressors that attribute to the higher precedence of addiction. Negative attitudes and perceptions tend to undermine self-advocacy efforts and increase the vulnerability of people with disabilities (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). These components lead to lower rates of employment, completion of vocational programs, and rehabilitation services (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Other contributors to addiction include lower income, social isolation, and comorbidity disorders (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). PWD are also “targets for others to take advantage of financially, sexually, and emotionally” (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016, p. 335). Thus, self-medicating and believing that it is acceptable for them to use substances is another complicating factor (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Within their ecological system internalizing their differences, lack of support, family and adjustment issues associated with disabilities are linked to coping strategies used for alcohol and/or other substance abuse (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016). Additionally, PWD have more interactions with medical services and have more pharmaceuticals enhancing their accessibility and opportunity for addiction (Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2016).

References

Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2016). Foundations of addictions counseling (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

West, S. L., Graham, C. W., & Cifu, D. X. (2009). Prevalence of persons with disabilities in alcohol/other drug treatment in the United States. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 27(3), 242-252. doi: 10.1080/07347320903008133.

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