Purpose – Individuals with learning disabilities (LD) who offend are more likely to be dependent on alcohol than those who do not. There is strong evidence to suggest that interventions for alcohol problems can be effective; this paper aims to address this issue. Design/methodology/approach – The pre and post assessment scores from an alcohol awareness group (AAG) were collected from 34 service users with LD or a dual diagnosis of LD and mental health problems. The programme was manual led and included 12 sessions. The data collected were used to evaluate the programme. Findings – Clients' level of knowledge and self efficacy increased after programme completion. Post group, those with a lower IQ had gained a greater level of alcohol‐related knowledge compared to those with a higher IQ. Clients with a learning disability alone scored slightly higher than those with a dual diagnosis. Originality/value – The AAG has been successful in increasing motivation to change drinking behaviour, knowledge of problems related to alcohol, and “safe drinking” practice. These outcomes have been achieved across a wide range of cognitive abilities suggesting that those with an IQ below 60 can also benefit from this type of intervention.
Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 10, 2011
Keywords: Alcohol; Alcoholic drinks; Psycho‐education; Evaluation; Learning disabilities; Secure