Social Skill Deficit Interventions for Substance Abusers

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Substance abusers demonstrate high rates of recidivism and deviant behavior despite participation in rehabilitation and community education programs. These findings may, in part, be attributed to the significant cognitive and behavioral skill deficits evident among substance abuse high-risk groups. Two social competency models of habilitation are proposed as means to increase the abuser's life management skills and coping abilities. “Social problem-solving” training programs focus on generic cognitive problem-solving deficits while “social skills” training programs address specific behavioral deficiencies. Research findings demonstrate the utility of these approaches for increasing social adjustment and diminishing psychopathology among high-risk substance abusers.

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