Ethnocultural Factors and Substance Abuse: Toward Culturally Sensitive Treatment Models

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There is increasing recognition of the role of ethnocultural factors in understanding and treating substance abuse disorders. Research and theory suggest that acculturation experiences, sources of stress, coping mechanisms, social support variations, and beliefs about substance use are key factors associated with differential patterns of substance abuse among some ethnic groups, particularly African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. In recent years, models of substance abuse intervention specifically targeting these ethnic groups have been developed. After reviewing the work on ethnocultural factors and substance abuse, this article examines the movement toward culturally sensitive psychosocial treatment models. Central features of the models are highlighted, and limited empirical evidence suggesting their potential effectiveness is presented.

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