Anger Management Intervention in Substance Abuse Treatment

Posted On: February 27th, 2007

Anger has always been a factor in substance abuse intervention. Unfortunately, until recently, it has been overlooked or treated as an after thought by substance abuse programs nationwide. Substance use and abuse often coexist with anger, aggressive behavior and person-directed violence. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicated that 40 % of frequent cocaine users reported engaging in some form of violence or aggressive behavior. Anger and aggression often can have a causal role in the initiation of drug and alcohol use and can also be a consequence associated with substance abuse. Persons who experience traumatic events, for example, often experience anger and act violently, as well as abuse drugs or alcohol. This is currently occurring with recently returned combat veterans from Iraq.

Despite the connection of anger and violence to substance abuse, few substance abuse providers have attempted to neither connect the two nor provide intervention for both. In the Los Angeles area, a number of primarily upscale residential rehab programs for drug and alcohol have contracted with Certified Anger Management Providers to offer anger management either in groups on an individual basis for inpatient substance abuse clients.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
http://www.andersonservices.com/
http://www.aaamp.org/
http://www.anger-management-resources.org/

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