An alcohol treatment group for adults with intellectual disabilities, an empowerment approach

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Funk, Heather
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There is a dearth of programming options available for the intellectually disabled in relation to alcohol treatment. This practicum was designed to provide an alcohol treatment program for adults with intellectual disabilities and to increase independent decision making abilities. A group intervention program was designed specifically to meet the needs of the intellectually disabled, using cognitive-behavioral and cue exposure techniques. The intervention also attempted to incorporate empowerment skills, as historically adults with intellectual disabilities have lacked these opportunities. The results indicate a decrease in alcohol consumption for all group members. Independent decision making showed little change. Given the history of dependency among the intellectually disabled, longer term efforts may be required to establish significant change in this regard. Replication of this intervention over a longer period of time may yield more significant results in relation to independent decision making. Overall, the results of this intervention are promising in terms of a reduction of alcohol use among the intellectually disabled.