Yesterday we posted about a U.S. review which identified the small number of studies on substance abuse and the lack of clear estimates of prevalence. Normally, here at Elf towers, we only identify studies that are reviews of literature, or single studies that report results. But given yesterday’s posting, we thought it might be interesting to point out this article that raises an interesting question about the way in which the scientific literature has framed the whole question of alc0hol use by people with learning disabilities.
In this article, the author points out that all the published studies to date have shown that alcohol use among adults with learning disabilities is significantly less than average. Indeed, abstinence appears not only the norm but practiced by a significant majority.
The author raises the question about why there might be such a differential consumption. He argues that the literature focuses on alcohol use as pathological, and in the context of “a discourse of risk and as a personal behaviour, rather than as a social and cultural one.”
The author asks why there is such a high occurrence of abstinence amongst adults with learning disabilities and considers whether this may be a further indicator of the cultural exclusion of this group.
It would be interesting to hear what you think?
Alcohol and intellectual disability Personal problem or cultural exclusion? Simpson M, in Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 16, 3, 183-192