People with substance abuse disabilities can be successfully rehabilitated within the vocational rehabilitation process. They benefit most from a spectrum of services involving inter-disciplinary approaches. Theoretically-grounded models that combine the services of rehabilitation agencies and chemical dependency treatment providers are especially needed. Nationwide, at least eight percent of persons seeking vocational rehabilitation services from the federal/state vocational rehabilitation program have a primary disability of chemical dependency. Although there are more similarities than differences in what these individuals with a substance abuse disability require from vocational rehabilitation services, there are some fundamental principles, which should be understood when addressing rehabilitation when chemical dependency is involved. Individuals with a primary disability of chemical dependency often have higher rates of successful case closure, cost less money, and experience a more rapid return to work, then persons with other disabilities. Current legal statutes, and particularly the 1990 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, provide substance abuse with full access to federal/state rehabilitation systems, even if the drugs of abuse are illicit. Similarly, individuals in substance abuse treatment programs cite the need for career planning as integral to their achieving and sustaining independent and successful lifestyles. Benefits can best be achieved when the vocational rehabilitation approach is part of a treatment plan that is individualized, comprehensive and collaborative. Strong career planning has a high correlation with treatment retention and relapse prevention. It is of utmost importance for rehabilitation counselors to understand the impact of substance abuse on career planning in order to maximize success of the person in recovery.
Impact of Substance Abuse on Career Planning
Substance abuse is defined as...