Substance Abuse within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community

Concepts related to substance abuse treatment and recovery are often challenging when introducing them to many Deaf individuals. This presentation will review an innovative substance abuse treatment approach developed by the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard Of Hearing. This model uses the Minnesota/Medical Model but utilizes a visual approach. Additionally, the presentation reviews the use of examples, pictures, and role play with clients who are in treatment. The activities are considered more culturally sensitive and assist in a more positive treatment outcome.

About the Presenter

Debra Guthmann, Ed.D, NIC is currently the Director of Pupil Personnel Services at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont where she oversees all clinical services including: counseling, assessment and health services as well as admissions, I.E.P. implementation and any due process. In addition, Dr. Guthmann is the founding Director and current Project Director for grants funded through at the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals (MCDPDHHI). Dr. Guthmann has authored a number of articles focusing on a number of issues including chemical dependency and ethical issues pertaining to Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. Dr. Guthmann has been involved with over 200 national and international presentations on related topics and written several book chapters which focus on dual relationships, substance abuse and treatment models to use with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Dr. Guthmann has been a guest lecturer at numerous post-secondary institutions and is on the adjunct faculty at San Francisco State University. Dr Guthmann is the Past President for the National Association on Alcohol, Drugs and Disability (NAADD) and Past President of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association (ADARA) which is one of the largest organizations for professionals serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals. She also serves on a number of boards including the Research and Training Center focusing on Substance Abuse and Disabilities located at Wright State University in Dayton Ohio, California Department of Rehabilitation's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee and San Francisco State University's Rehabilitation Counseling Training program. Dr. Guthmann is also a nationally certified interpreter for the Deaf.

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