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Vocational rehabilitation of drug-free youths.

Common sense and research tell us that people with disabilities are not immune from experiencing difficulty with substance abuse. Recent surveys in an 11-state area indicate that 29 percent of the average counselor caseload includes a primary or secondary disability of substance abuse (Benshoff, Grissom, & Nelson, 1990, p. 19). It is therefore imperative that rehabilitation service providers be equipped with the information and skills needed to recognize substance abuse and to be able to assist their clients with this devastating problem.

With support and encouragement from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice, training materials and curriculum to assist the vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor were developed by the Regional Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program (RRCEP) consortium. These materials help counselors to identify, understand, and subsequently assist their young clients who have substance abuse either as a primary or a co,existing disability. While the project, entitled "Vocational Rehabilitation of Drug-Free Youth (14-18): A State/Federal RSA and Juvenile Justice Training Initiative," focuses on the younger VR client, the approach and strategies are not limited to this population and do have many implications for the older client.

This year-long project began with an informal national survey coordinated by Dr. Bobbie A. Atkins, a professor at San Diego State University. The survey was not designed as a research project, but rather as a way to provide "state-of-the-art" insights for vocational rehabilitation services to youths in the 14- to 18-year-old age group. RRCEP identified 100 service providers who were questioned regarding service delivery and training needs; 60 responses were subsequently collected and reviewed.

This data provided the required insights into the needs of vocational counselors regarding youth, drugs, and the juvenile justice system. Specifically, the respondents reported that training was a major need for VR staff and treatment service providers. The many suggestions were then placed into one of three basic categories: job activities, counseling, or specialty services. There were additional needs for general information on drugs and their effects on the body as well as employment data affecting 14- to 18-year-old youths. Once the unmet needs were identified, the consortium decided that each RRCEP, together with regional experts on the various categories, would develop a specific training module as part of a total project. The project ultimately consisted of the 12 training modules described below.

* Module 1--Effects Drugs Have on the Body, by Michael A. Hinz, M.A.; Deborah H. Keenan, M.S.W., Region VII, University of Missouri-Columbia. This module reviews various antecedents that influence adolescents to initiate drug use; surveys the drugs adolescents most commonly abuse and the prevalence of drug abuse; examines the prevalence of crack and cocaine use by adolescents; provides information about the physiological effects of various drugs on body systems; examines how drugs affect the central nervous system and the implications of how those changes influence overt behavior and performance; and reviews issues of drug tolerance and physical dependence as physiological concerns.

* Module 2--Personality Characteristics Associated With Drug Abuse, by William Cochran, Ph.D., Region VI, University of Arkansas, Hot Springs. This module discusses the relationship between the three core personality characteristics that predispose a person to chemical dependence and the types of life situations that "trigger" predisposed people to chemical use as a maladaptive coping mechanism, and also examines eligibility determination, service planning, and service provision.

* Module 3--Substance Abuse and Adolescents with Disabilities, by Elizabeth Stewart, M.S., CAC, CRC; David E Burganowski, M.S.; Darwin M. Larson, Ph.D.; Dwight R. Kauppi, Ph.D., CRC, Region II, State University of New York at Buffalo. This module offers a basic background and education in psychoactive substance abuse and an overview of drug classifications and interactions. The moral and public health models of addiction are discussed and distinguished from the dis- ease concept model of chemical dependence. Diagnostic criteria are reviewed and assessment tools to assist in recognition and identification of those clients who need referral for substance abuse evaluation are studied.

* Module 4--Transition to a Drug-Free Environment, by Michael A. Hinz, M.A.; Debbie Keenan, M.S.W., Region VII, University of Missouri-Columbia. This module reviews the culture of drugs and crime, reasons for using drugs, outline of student assistance program model and prevention models for transition of drug-free youths into work. In addition, it cites definitions and criteria for behavioral disorders/emotionally disturbed. This module also discusses the storefront model for at-risk students, students' needs and values of work in the transition process, and needed policy changes and issues surrounding the need for sensitivity of drug-free youths.

* Module 5--Drug-Free Youth and Family Issues, by Colleen Fox, M.S.; Jan Madsen-Sundquist, M.A., CRC, CCDC III, Region X, SeaRle University, Washington. Because family or unaddressed family issues can often be the saboteur in an adolescent's early recovery, this module provides comprehensive information regarding the risk factors of youthful substance abusers, the application of family systems information to chemically dependent families, and the identification of family adaptation characteristics. Also included is drug-free youth identification regarding potential for successful vocational rehabilitation, drug-free youth and families identification for further service referrals to enhance the potential for family reconciliation, and implications for the role of the VR counselor in working with 14-to 18-year-old drug-free youths and their families.

* Module 6--Native American Issues, by Raymond E. Nelson, Ph.D.; Douglas M. St. Clair; Quintin Kingfisher, Region VIII, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. The purpose of this module is to enable a rehabilitation professional to become qualified to deliver a workshop on the topic of substance abuse prevention and rehabilitation for Native American youths in rural America. The content is designed to assist rehabilitation professionals in identifying Native American youths at high risk for substance abuse, understanding Native American populations regarding the progression of substance abuse, understanding the critical nature of community involvement in serving Native American youth, understanding the importance of family support in serving Native American youth, and facilitating support groups for Native American youths at high risk for substance abuse.

* Module 7--African American Youth (Drugs and Family Issues), by Bobbie J. Atkins, Ph.D.; Fred McFarlane, Ph.D.; Felipe Castro, Ph.D.; et al., Region IX, San Diego State University, California. This module proposes approaches and recommendations that can be used to assist rehabilitation counselors in becoming more effective in dealing with African American youths who may be drug dependent. The focus of the information is an overview of drugs; selected information on the African American culture, youth, and family issues; recommended roles for the rehabilitation counselor; and resources for implementing an effective cross-cultural approach to providing services to youths with drug dependence.

* Module 8---Hispanic Youth, by Julie K. O'Brien, Ph.D., Region V, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; Raymond E. Nelson, Ph.D., Region VIII, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley; and Johnny Leroy Martinez. The purpose of this module is to provide rehabilitation counselors with a base of knowledge for understanding the Hispanic culture and to present the cultural concepts of growing up to be "Hombre," the role of "La Familia," ethnic locality, and the specific drug patterns of Hispanic youths.

* Module 9--Eligibility Determination and the Individualized Written Rehabilitation Program (IWRP), by S. Wayne Mulkey, Ed.D.; James H. Miller, Ed.D.; Jonathan H. Michael, M.S., Region IV, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Though chemical dependence has long been established as a diagnosable disability, many people have difficulty accepting and recognizing it in youth. Nevertheless, young people suffering from chemical dependence are at high risk for serious impairment in the development of attitudes and skills that are necessary for success in various occupations. This module examines attitudes about chemical dependence, explores questions related to determining the presence or absence of the disability, discusses issues in identifying a vocational handicap, analyzes components necessary to establish a reasonable expectation, investigates issues pertinent to developing the IWRP, and provides information about confidentiality regulations.

* Module 10--Case Management, by Patrick F. Taricone, Ph.D.; Julie K. O'Brien, Ph.D., Region V, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. It is important that rehabilitation counselors have a clear understanding of all factors related to the effective case management of drug-abusing clients. The purpose of this module is twofold: to provide rehabilitation counselors with effective case management techniques, and to identify those factors which are critical in the case management process when providing services to adolescents and young adults who are dependent on mood-altering chemicals.

* Module 11---Community Resources, by George S. Elias, Ed.D.; John G. Moline, Ph.D., Neil C. McNeil, Region I, Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts. Recovering substance abusers are seeking services in ever-increasing numbers. When working with a substance abuse population, it is absolutely critical that people entering the system be appropriate for services. This module helps define the parameters within which state vocational rehabilitation counselors must operate in their relationships with community resources. It also highlights issues of potential concern to state agency counselors as they attempt to develop, offer, and implement services to 14- to 18-years-old youths. The goal of this module is to enhance the communication between those referral sources which constitute the primary service delivery systems for 14- to 18-year-old youths and vocational rehabilitation counselors who are employed by state-federal programs for vocational rehabilitation.

* Module 12--Employment, by Donald W. Dew, Ed.D.; Vincent A. Scalia, Ed.D, Region III, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Vocational rehabilitation personnel play a major role in the "War on Drugs." Their unique understanding of the economic and demographic factors-national as well as local--that affect job trends can be applied to 14- to 18-year-old youths so that services can be adapted for this client group. This module is designed to increase the knowledge and skills of vocational rehabilitation counselors relative to identifying the unique characteristics of drug-free youths and the economic, social, and educational factors affecting their employment. This module also discusses preemployment assessments, effective employment strategies, and identification of long-term employment opportunities for drug-free youth. Finally, the module covers how to increase the quality of the referrals to the vocational rehabilitation system and identification and assistance to employers.

Using the newly developed RRCEP training materials, pilot training programs have been presented and evaluated. The RRCEP will be conducting regional training programs in the coming year. The 11 RRCEP's are organized to work as a consortium. Although primarily regionally focused, the consortium allows for a high level of collaboration and cooperation around issues and topics of national importance. For specific information related to a particular module previously described or regional human resources development activities the reader may wish to contact the RRCEP/author directly:

* Region I-George Elias, Ed.D., Institute for Social and-Rehabilitation Services, Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 01615-0005. Telephone: (508) 755-0677

* Region II--Dwight R. Kauppi, Ph.D., Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, State University of New York, 441 Christopher Baldy Hall, CEPR-2, Buffalo, New York 14260. Telephone: (716) 636-2517

* Region III--Donald W. Dew, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2021 K Street, N.W., Suite 211, Washington, DC 20052. Telephone: (202) 676-5929

* Region IV--S. Wayne Mulkey, Ph.D., The University of Tennessee, Claxton Education Addition, #337, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-3400. Telephone: (615) 974-8111

* Region V--David M. Adams, Southern Illinois University, 300 E. Main Street, 16, Carbondale, Illinois 62901. Telephone: (618) 536-2461

* Region VI--Leon Thornton, University of Arkansas, Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center, P.O. Box 1358, Hot Springs, Arkansas 72115. Telephone: (501) 621-4411

* Region VII--C. David Roberts, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia, 401 East Locust Street, Suite302, Columbia, Missouri 65201. Telephone: (314) 882-3807

* Region VIII--Kenneth E. Galea_i, University of Northern Colorado, Department of Human Services, McKee 44, Greeley, Colorado 80639. Telephone: (303) 351-2159

* Region IX--Fred R. McFarlane, Ph.D., Sen Diego State University, 5850 Hardy Avenue, Suite 112, San Diego, California 92182. Telephone: (619) 594-4207

* Region X-Collen Fox, Seattle University, Broadway and Madison, Seattle, Washington 98122. Telephone: (206) 296-5650

Information about the 12 modules is also available from Paul Gaines, National Clearinghouse of Rehabifitation Materials, Oklahoma State University, 816 West Sixth Street, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078-0435. Telephone: (405) 624-7650


Benshoff, JJ., Grissom, J.K., & Nelson, R.E. (1990). Job Placement Strategies with Substance Abusers. Journal of Job Placement, 6(2), 16-20.

This project operates under Grant Number H129U80011-90 from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Dew is Professor of Counseling and Director, Regional Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program (RRCEP), The George Washington University. He is also Project Director for the program.
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Title Annotation:AMERICA 2000
Author:Dew, Donald W.
Publication:American Rehabilitation
Date:Sep 22, 1992
Previous Article:Employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the years to come.
Next Article:Community resource utilization in rehabilitation: the shape of the future.

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