Hobbs, W. R., Rall, T.W., Verdoorn, T. A. (1996). Hypnotics and sedatives: Ethanol, 361-396. In J. G. Hardman, L. E. Limbird, P. B. Molinoff, R. W. Rud-don, A. G. Gilman (Eds.) The pharmacological basis of therapeutics, 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

SCOTT E. Lukas

ETHNIC ISSUES AND CULTURAL RELEVANCE IN TREATMENT Differences exist among ethnic and cultural groups in their use— and abuse—of drugs and alcohol, as well as among risk factors that precede use and responses to treatment. Research suggests that an approach known as cultural congruency—when a patient and counselor share the same ethnic background or gender—can significantly improve the outcome of public health interventions and treatment. Drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs are no exception, and a number of recent studies have shown that careful attention to a special population s vari ant cultural framework can decrease recidivism and enhance treatment efficacy. The basic conceptual background for these tailored approaches begins with an examination of the cultural values held by the target community. Questions the treatment provider must ask when developing a targeted program include (Amodeo et al., 1997): At what point is the use of alcohol or other drugs considered a problem in this culture? At what point is a user deemed to require treatment? Who is perceived as owning this problem (e.g., the individual, the family, the community)? To what extent is any stigma attached to the problem? Are certain individuals more stigmatized (e.g., women)? This article will outline treatment approaches and considerations both general to the concept of cultural congruency and specific to some major ethnic groups.

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