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Understanding and overcoming barriers to substance abuse treatment access for people with mental retardation.

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Salem State College School of Social Work, Salem, MA 01970, USA.


People with mental retardation have experienced increasing levels of freedom and access to community living over the past 40 years. This has included access to alcohol, illicit drugs and the potential for developing substance abuse and related problems. The manner in which people with mental retardation have handled this access has been recognized since the de institutionalization era began. Despite this recognition, documented barriers to accessing substance abuse treatment for people with mental retardation exist and there is an overarching lack of knowledge about accessible treatment approaches for this population. Policy and practice recommendations are presented for disability and rehabilitation social workers in order to better understand and combat barriers to substance abuse treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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