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Assessing Substance Abuse Problems in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals

From: American Annals of the Deaf
Volume 143, Number 1, March 1998
pp. 14-21 | 10.1353/aad.2012.0080



Professionals who provide services to deaf and hard of hearing individuals may encounter situations related to abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Getting access to an agency that can provide an appropriate chemical dependency assessment for a deaf or hard of hearing person is difficult because there are no formalized assessment tools normed or specifically designed to use with such individuals. Additionally, most assessors are unfamiliar with how to work with deaf and hard of hearing people, less likely to be fluent in American Sign Language, and unaware of appropriate treatment options. The present article provides an overview of chemical dependency, assessment issues, and considerations unique to the deaf and hard of hearing population. A chemical dependency assessment tool developed by the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals is described, as well as a case study that illustrates application of the assessment process.

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