Ethnocultural Factors in Substance Abuse Treatment

Ethnocultural Factors in Substance Abuse Treatment

Ethnocultural Factors in Substance Abuse Treatment

Ethnocultural Factors in Substance Abuse Treatment

Synopsis

This volume presents a culturally informed framework for understanding and treating substance abuse problems. From expert contributors, chapters cover specific ethnocultural groups in the United States, including Americans of African, Native American, Latino, European, Middle Eastern, and Asian descent. While emphasizing the need to see each client as a unique individual, the book examines how ethnocultural factors may affect a person's attitudes toward alcohol and other drugs, patterns of substance use, reasons for seeking treatment, and responsiveness to various interventions. Themes addressed include the impact of migration and acculturation issues, spiritual values and traditions, family structures, gender roles, and experiences of prejudice and discrimination. Featuring a wealth of illustrative clinical material, the volume makes concrete recommendations for more competent, effective assessment and intervention. It also guides clinicians toward greater awareness of the ways their own ethnocultural backgrounds may affect their interactions with clients.

Excerpt

What does it mean to an Irish American to drink to excess? How do Korean Americans make sense of drug abuse in their families and communities? What effect does shame or fear of deportation have on an immigrant's motivation to seek professional help for an addiction? What does it take to engage an addict who is African American in an ongoing treatment regimen? How can substance abuse treatment providers earn the trust of people they seek to serve when these professionals' ethnocultural backgrounds differ radically from those of their clients?

The contributors to this book explore practical questions and issues in their discussions of treating substance abuse across racial, cultural, and ethnic lines. I chose each contributor because of his or her familiarity with and/or track record of working effectively with a particular ethnocultural group. The various chapters in this book discuss the roots of culturally idiosyncratic attitudes toward, and use of, alcohol and other drugs. The authors describe the hurdles in working with each population, but more important, they offer specific guidelines for treatment that will increase the likelihood of success.

Having grown up on three different continents and having been at different times both a member of a severely discriminated-against ethnoreligious minority and a member of a powerful majority, I have been acutely conscious of ethnic, cultural, and religious issues throughout my life. Yet I was unaware of the importance of these issues to the treatment of substance abuse until I started working on my 1993 book, Clinical Work with Substance-Abusing Clients (New York: Guilford Press). It was only . . .

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