The project will be a 20-hour DWI-specific group with specific strategies and steps designed to help people with mild substance use disorder. The focus of the group will be centered around specific techniques that will help participants cope with alcohol and narcotics use based on their initial diagnosis. This implementation will provide support and help to men specifically due to a couple of reasons. The demographic of the attendees consists of men aged between 21 and 50. The intended participants fall under the category of people with stable jobs and satisfactory living conditions. Individuals attending the courses will be people diagnosed with mild substance use disorder and those who received at least one DWI. Thus, based on the diagnosis criteria, such people have to meet at least three of them.
The purpose of the group is to give people the necessary tools to address and start combating this disorder. Moreover, since the attendees have already received a DWI, attending the meetings will help mitigate risks in the future. Thus, the general objective is to reduce the rate of incidents caused by drunk drivers. The need for such a project is evident based on current research. Males are more likely to suffer from drug use disorders, which leads to DWIs (McHugh et al., 2018). Researchers highlight that men and boys find it beneficial to engage in specialized psychotherapy (Kiselica & Englar-Carlson, 2010).
Moreover, the previous experience in working in a DWI agency allows for an objective assessment of all the changes that need to be done to create more positive outcomes for the participants. Another essential purpose is regaining the legal status that will allow participants to regain driving licenses and other documents in regards to their previous DWI offenses. The objectives will be considered fulfilled if the attendees are able to maintain sobriety, go further and enroll in a 12 step program, and have no additional encounters with law enforcement regarding driving under the influence.
The screening process will be based on their DWI record. However, several drug use screening techniques will also be applied after the initial information is received through the court system. First, the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) will be given to the potential participants since, according to researchers, it is the most used test used to assess the condition in regards to drug use (Tiet et al., 2017). Moreover, the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) based on self-assessments will be helpful in identifying the presence and severity of the drinking problem (Minnich et al., 2018). These screening tools will be applied to determine whether the individuals are fit for the program and how their conditions manifest.
Group Leader/Ethical Considerations
The group leader will monitor the progress, examine whether all the conditions are being fulfilled, and ensure a high satisfaction level among participants. Moreover, in case the group consists of more than twelve people attending the course at the same time. The co-leader will have the same responsibilities and operate under the same agenda as the initial leader. In terms of ethical consideration, any private information given by attendees during the meetings will remain private. However, certain information will be released to the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV), layers, and probation officers, depending on the situation.
Each attendee will be presented with informed consent guidelines based on the rules and policies that the project implements. In terms of information being shared with DMV, it will be used for the 508 form for restoring driving records. Moreover, lawyers and courts dealing with the DWI cases will require data in regards to the progress of the program.
A theoretical approach will be applied due to the complex problem that the program intends to confront. Since the attendees deal with mild substance abuse issues, it is essential to contribute to a psychological understanding of what causes such challenges. This holds humanistic values and allows participants to be more transparent and honest about their struggles. The theoretical approach looks at the core of the issue and aims to address it instead of only treating the symptoms. Levant (1995) mentions that men are less likely to use outside resources to deal with their problems. The group will combat this factor and minimize the risks. Moreover, suppose the intention is to help people move through the cycle of change. In that case, it is essential to determine what caused the problem in the first place and accept the situation before moving towards a positive future.
Several techniques will be used to give participants the necessary tools to have healthy communication patterns and deal with challenging situations. At the start-up, members will be able to introduce themselves and develop specific rules that all the participants will have to follow. Indeed, the initial guidelines will be based on confidentiality avoiding alcohol, punctuality, and respect. However, in case attendees have their own proposals, they will be able to express and implement them. The specific technique which will act as an ice breaker will be a scavenger hunt where all the members will be handed pieces of paper with statements. This information may be related to their families, hobbies, dreams, etc. Such methodology is designed to act as an initial step towards creating a team where each individual is confident enough to speak up and interact.
Conflict resolutions are essential for the group since it mitigates the risks for challenging situations and arguments among members. This aspect is designed to hand participants appropriate tools to give and receive feedback despite certain negative connotations it may have. In terms of this technique, participants will learn to look at the whole picture rather than an incident. Leaders will emphasize the concept of focusing on the context, contributing to the attendees’ perception of different situations that they usually stigmatize. Moreover, by the end of the program, participants will be able to externalize all the points that have not been discussed before. This is possible by having a bonfire during the last meeting.
The intention is to make flyers and advertise them by showcasing them at attorney offices and at the offices of probation officers. These will be the places where individuals with substance use issues will be motivated to attend the program. The flyer will illustrate all the vital information about the project itself, including the criteria for becoming a member, the benefits that correlate with attendance, and the type of issues that people will confront during the courses. Moreover, all the prices will be listed on the flyers to give potential members an overview of the expenses they will have to invest.
People who will be interested in following up with the proposal will have the opportunity to call the organizers using the phone number listed on the brochure. Furthermore, to avoid miscommunication, the location where the meetings will take place will also be highlighted. The brochure will illustrate that men aged between 21 and 50 will be welcome to attend the meetings. The sponsors (a Rehab Facility and private donors) will also be listed in the brochure to minimize the perception of bias.
The first practical consideration is the group composition that, as mentioned before, will consist of men aged 21-50. The optimal number of attendees is 12. However, in case more people enroll, it is possible to create bigger groups yet hire a co-leader. The duration of the course is 20 hours and will consist of four-hour meetings every Saturday for five weeks in a row. To create favorable conditions for attendees to be able to come to meetings, the office hired for the meetings will be located in a building in the center of the city. This will minimize the risk of people meeting challenges when it comes to finding the location and frequently visiting it on a weekly basis.
The intention is to create a closed group in which members will all start the program at the same time. The course will encourage the further visitations of open groups such as AA meetings, but in this case, a closed one will be more effective due to the time constraints.
Members will have to follow all the guidelines and show positive results in relation to several factors. First and foremost, all participants will be expected to have 30 days of abstinence from all drugs and alcohol. The progress will be monitored through drug screens and self-assessment tests. Such a result will highlight the effectiveness of the program. However, it is essential to mention that this is the first step towards recovery, and several other outcomes are expected to maintain the progress.
The attendees will be introduced to a 12-step program where they will go in-depth in terms of addiction symptoms, treatment, and support from fellow people with the same problems. By the end of the program, members are expected to determine and identify triggering situations that may compromise their sobriety. Moreover, it is important for the participants to examine and practice coping skills useful in triggering moments. This is why every attendee will write a detailed plan for preventing substance abuse episodes in the future. The legal side of the drug abuse problem will also be highlighted. If participants are able to identify laws regarding DWIs prior discussed during the meetings, the objective will be considered fulfilled.
The process of evaluation will consist of the assessment of both participants and leaders. Participants will fill out a form prior to the courses and after graduation. They will answer questions in regards to legal, psychological, and physical aspects of drug use. The answers will be examined and compared. On the other hand, leaders will fill in forms in regards to training exercises and information given during the meetings. If the practical leadership is similar to the initial established plan, the evaluation will be considered successful.
An example of norming strategies applied during the norming stage is establishing rules which members purpose. Leaders will list a number of possible guidelines in regards to communication during the meetings. Participants will have to individually argue why the proposed guidelines are beneficial or harmful for the group. Based on the commentary, the most preferred guidelines will be discussed and implemented based on an open voting session where individuals will verbalize their pro or con opinion. Later on, group members will look at themselves from a different perspective since leaders will use reframing techniques.
Kiselica, M. S., & Englar-Carlson, M. (2010). Identifying, affirming, and building upon male strengths: The positive psychology/positive masculinity model of psychotherapy with boys and men. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 47(3), 276–287. Web.
Levant, R. F. (1992). Toward the reconstruction of masculinity. Journal of Family Psychology, 5(3-4), 379–402. Web.
McHugh, R. K., Votaw, V. R., Sugarman, D. E., & Greenfield, S. F. (2018). Sex and gender differences in substance use disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 66, 12–23. Web.
Minnich, A., Erford, B. T., Bardhoshi, G., & Atalay, Z. (2018). Systematic review of the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test. Journal of Counseling & Development, 96(3), 335–344. Web.
Tiet, Q. Q., Leyva, Y. E., Moos, R. H., & Smith, B. (2017). Diagnostic accuracy of a two-item drug abuse screening test (DAST-2). Addictive Behaviors, 74, 112–117. Web.