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Treatment of Substance Abuse: Psychosocial Occupational Therapy Approaches

NCJ Number
D Gibson
Date Published
80 pages
This book considers assessment and rehabilitation issues and programs for alcohol and chemical substance abusers.
Articles provide insight into the role occupational therapy may play in substance abuse treatment, including behavioral and educational frames of reference as well as specific treatment modalities such as stress management, activities of daily living, and leisure counseling. In one cited project, the goal was to establish occupational therapy as an appropriate and viable part of an adult alcohol and drug dependency rehabilitation program and evaluate the use of arts and crafts as effective occupational therapy activities. Results showed that patients significantly improved over time in general, interpersonal, and task behaviors. Arts and crafts activity sessions provided patients with a welcome change from the normal regimen of lectures and verbal groups that were primarily analytical, confrontational, and sedentary. Approaches used by occupational therapists in alcohol rehabilitation programs are described, and an organizational framework for occupational therapy in alcoholism treatment is presented. An occupational therapy needs assessment tool for American Indian and Alaska native alcoholics is described. Current polemics regarding the use of methadone versus abstinence-oriented programs are examined. Clinical issues related to the treatment of chemical dependency are also discussed, with consideration given to the desirability of abstinence from mood-altering drugs and the view of chemical dependency as a primary illness rather than an underlying symptom. 107 references, 6 tables.