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Home > Listening to people with intellectual disabilities who misuse alcohol and drugs.

Taggart, L and McLaughlin, D and Quinn, B and McFarlane, C (2007) Listening to people with intellectual disabilities who misuse alcohol and drugs. Health and Social Care in the Community , 15 , (4) , pp. 360-368.

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There is a dearth of research that has explored alcohol/drug use and misuse by people with intellectual disabilities. The aims of the present study were twofold: (1) to examine the insights of 10 people with intellectual disabilities into the reasons why they may misuse alcohol or drugs, and what impact this behaviour may have on them; and (2) to explore the services that they receive. Ten individuals with intellectual disabilities who were deemed to be misusing alcohol/drugs were purposively selected and interviewed. One overarching theme of the reasons for such misuse was labelled as 'self-medicating against life's negative experiences'. This was divided into two sub-themes: 'psychological trauma' and 'social distance from the community'.

All the participants reported that their main source of support came from intellectual disability services, acting in both educational and liaison roles. Although seven of the individuals were referred to mainstream addiction services, they perceived this service as negative. In order to address these underlying problems, better access to a wider range of specialist services is required. Intellectual disability and mainstream addiction service providers also need to be more effective in the prevention and treatment of substance misuse by employing techniques such as motivational interviewing.


Item Type
Article
Date
2007
Page Range
pp. 360-368
Volume
15
Number
4
Keywords
health service or program by target group, Ireland, mental disability, Northern Ireland, social environmental risk factors, special populations, special populations
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB 4215 (Electronic Only)
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