Preventing Substance Abuse &Crime in Special Populations

Period of Performance: 12/15/2005 - 11/30/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tech Assistance Inst/intellectual Disabl
Eugene, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by Applicant): There are at least 7.5 million people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in the United States, most with mild disabilities. Over the past 12 years our service delivery system for this target population has shifted, moving away from an emphasis on general intellectual functioning, to a classification system focused on functional ability and determination of the minimum external supports necessary for individuals with ID (i.e., mental retardation) to survive on their own. The unintended consequence of this movement is that many individuals with mild ID are at increased risk of falling through the cracks, and due to a lack of social competency, awareness, and social support, becoming involved in behaviors and activities that could result in harm (e.g., substance abuse, crime). The paucity of substance abuse and antisocial behavior prevention programs for youth and adults with ID represents a significant gap in our Nation's current service-delivery system. The proposed project will produce an interactive multimedia (IMM) training program to teach youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities (i.e., mild and moderate mental retardation) social awareness and social competencies to help them avoid and refuse to participate in substance use, alcohol use or misuse, and delinquent or criminal behavior (R-SAC). This project will fill a need for substance and alcohol abuse prevention curricula, and crime avoidance strategies for youth and young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities Phase I will develop a prototype R-SAC program, designed for use by young men and women with ID who are legally old enough to purchase and consume alcohol. A within-subject pre- post-test design with a two- week follow-up will be used with 40 legal age subjects. In Phase II, the R-SAC program will be expanded to include four target populations (i.e., underage males, underage females, legal age males, and legal age females) and two R-SAC DVD programs for use within group settings. The efficacy of the full Phase II program will be tested in a large randomized trial with a significant follow-up period.