Recognizing TBI in Substance Abuse Support Groups


I run a substance abuse support group and I suspect one of the members in the group may have experienced a brain injury at one time. His behavior is often inappropriate and he has trouble remembering what’s been said or following along with the conversation. I’m afraid to ask him directly because he gets angry easily. Any suggestions?


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Posted on BrainLine August 30, 2011.

About the author: John Corrigan, PhD

Dr. John Corrigan is a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Ohio State University, and director of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation. He is the project director for the Ohio Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System.

John Corrigan

Comments (2)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

Also, do you know of any support groups for caregivers that struggle with the challenge of TBI and substance abuse addiction?

Hi Dr. Corrigan,

I have a son that sustained a TBI at age 11, he was hit by a car while riding his bike. As you can imagine it's been a long and bumpy road since. He is now 32 and spent the entirety of last year in a substance abuse recovery program due to his acquired alcohol abuse many years after his TBI. He has a closes had injury and most of the damage was right frontal lobe. Lots of trouble with the following rules and decision making and got into much trouble because of inappropriate behavior exacerbated by alcohol use. He's very bright and in fact graduated with an associates degree while in the throws of alcohol addiction. He unfortunately has just announced his decision to use marijuana as he says it helps him focus better and keeps him calmer than Adderall. Can you possibly address this subject?