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Latinos, Culture Change and Substance Abuse: Implications for Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention


Latinos, Culture Change and Substance Abuse: Implications for Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention Dr. Juana Mora California State University, Northridge – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Latinos, Culture Change and Substance Abuse: Implications for Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention

Latinos, Culture Change and Substance Abuse
Implications for Substance Abuse Treatment and
  • Dr. Juana Mora
  • California State University, Northridge

Why do we need culturally competent treatment
prevention in substance abuse?
  • Demographic changes toward more cultural
    diversity in the U.S.
  • Ethnic/racial disparities in health

Latinos still the largest, fastest-growing
minority(LA Times, May 1, 2008)
  • The nations Latino population grew by 1.4
    million in 2007 to reach 45.5 million Latinos, or
    15 of the total U.S. population.

  • California had the largest Latino population of
    any state last year, with 13.2 million accounting
    for 36 of the state population.

What We Know about Latino substance abuse?
  • 1991-1993 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse
  • Over sampled Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles,
    Miami, New York City, Washington, D.C.

N 87,000
  • Native-Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders,
    non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites,
    Caribbeans, Central Americans, Cubans, Mexicans,
    Puerto Ricans, South Americans other Hispanics.

Relative to the total U.S. population,..
  • Mexicans and Puerto Ricans have
  • high prevalences of illicit drug use
  • (marijuana, cocaine, other illicit
  • drugs), heavy alcohol use, alcohol
  • dependence, and need for illicit
  • drug abuse treatment.

Latino-Cirrhosis Death Link Found
  • Latinos have the nations highest rate of death
    from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.
  • The overall U.S. alcohol-related cirrhosis death
    rate in 2004 per 100,000
  • White Males 6.0
  • Black Males 5.7
  • Hispanic Males 12.4
  • Source

Cultural Competency Substance Abuse among
  • Few tested models of culturally competent
    substance abuse treatment prevention for
  • Gap between research and practice.

Cultural CompetencyCurrent Approaches
  • Adaptation or Tailoring of models developed for
    the dominant population.
  • 2. Cultural specific models.
  • 3. What can we learn from other fields?

Content vs. Process Models of Cultural Competency
  • The substance abuse field has relied too much on
    content models of cultural competency.

Content Models of Culture (static)
  • Personalismo
  • Respeto
  • Confianza
  • A static application of culture may miss
    important aspects of Latino cultural social

Process Models of Culture(dynamic)
  • Includes immigration experience.
  • Process of adaptation (or not)
  • Minority Status Stress.
  • Historical trauma theory

Latinos, Culture Change and Substance Abuse
  • .some considerations..

Some Considerations..
  • Culture change is perhaps more
  • important than a static view of
  • culture for understanding substance
  • abuse among Latinos and how to
  • prevent and treat it.

Culture as Process
  • We need to refocus our attention on process
    models of culture and cultural competency.

Culture can be defined as a dynamic process.
  • involving worldviews and ways of living in a
    physical and social environment shared by groups,
    which are passed from generation to generation
    and may be modified by contacts between cultures
    in a particular social, historical, and political
  • Whaley Davis (2007)

We can learn from other fields
  • Ethnic minority psychology
  • Social work
  • Indigenous Psychology
  • Ethnic cultural studies

  • This whole thing about el pais de las
    oportunidadesI will change the name, I will
    change the version. I will call it el pais de
    las enfermedades..
  • Erotic Journeys Mexican Immigrants and Their
    Sex Lives (Gonzalez-Lopez)

Eugenio, a forty three year old from Mexico City
  • Spoke in a melodic Spanish rhythm as he described
    the various health problems he has suffered in
    the United States, including relapse and recovery
    from alcoholism and a pattern of addiction that
    sometimes made him behave in sexually risky ways.

The men in this study reflected on their
vulnerability to drug and alcohol use after
  • As mainly working class immigrants, the mens
    socioeconomic marginalities and migration and
    settlement related psychological stressors make
    them susceptible to alcohol use.

  • Immigrant men with a previous history of
    substance abuse became more vulnerable after
    immigration, due to such contributing factors as
    emotional distress, geographic dislocation,
    economic hardship, racism, uncertain legal
    status, language limitations, isolation, peer
    pressure, and crowded housing.

When I asked Fermin why he started to use
alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine in Los Angeles,
he replied
  • Well, I think its because when you come over
    here, you dont end up living with a family. In
    my case, I came by myself, and wherever I ended
    up living, I had to take it.

Cultural Adaptation (or not) living in the
  • Several Chicana and
  • Latina writers describe
  • the process of culture
  • change as living in the
  • borderlands between
  • two worlds, languages,
  • set of customs and
  • expectations, not
  • belonging
  • to one or the other.

Culture Change has long-term inter-generational
  • The grief and pain
  • associated with culture
  • loss has inter-generational
  • effects far beyond the
  • immigrant generation
  • and sometimes it is the
  • second and third
  • generations who exhibit
  • the deleterious effects of
  • this trauma (Falicov,
  • 1998).

According to Pedro Noguera.
  • unlike their parents who arrived in the U.S.
    with their identities intact, immigrant Latino
    youth often find themselves between two worlds,
    neither fully American, nor fully part of the
    country of their parents

Minority Status Stress Model
  • Researchers have noted that people who are
    exposed to multiple adverse conditions such as
    poverty, crowded housing, unsafe neighborhoods,
    unequal health care treatment, and racial
    discrimination tend to suffer from poorer mental
    and physical health.
  • Source Flores, et al.

  • Discrimination is a source of chronic stress that
    is detrimental to mental and physical health.
  • Source Flores, et al.

Historical Trauma Theory
  • The premise is that populations historically
    subjected to long-term, mass trauma exhibit a
    higher prevalence of disease even several
    generations after the original trauma occurred
    (Holocaust survivors offspring).

Historical Trauma originates with the subjugation
of a.
  • population by a dominant group. Successful
    subjugation requires at least four elements
  • Overwhelming physical psychological
  • violence.
  • Segregation and/or displacement.
  • Economic deprivation.
  • Cultural dispossession.

Extreme trauma may lead to
  • 1. Inter-generational health effects.
  • 2. Impairments in the capacity to parent.
  • 3.Depression, mental illness, PTSD.
  • 4.Self-destructive behaviors.
  • 5.Disease illness

We view cultural competency as a set of
  • skills that includes, (a) the ability to
    recognize understand the dynamic interplay
    between the heritage and adaptation dimensions of
    culture in shaping human behavior (b) the
    ability to use the knowledge acquired about an
    individuals heritage adaptational challenges
    to maximize the effectiveness of assessment,
    diagnosis, and treatment

  • and (c) internalization of this process of
    recognition, acquisition, and use of cultural
    dynamics so that it van be routinely applied to
    diverse groups.
  • Whaley Davis (2007)

  • 1. Castro, F. Garfinkle, J. (2003). Critical
    Issues in the Development of Culturally Relevant
    Substance Abuse Treatments for Specific Minority
    Groups. Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental
    Research, Vol. 27, No. 8, 1381-1388.
  • 2. Flores, E., et al., (unpublished manuscript).
    Perceived Discrimination, Perceived Stress, and
    Mental and Physical Health Among Mexican American
  • 3. Goldstein, M.J. Noguera, P.A. (March 25,
    2006). Designing for Diversity How Educators
    Can Incorporate Cultural Competence in Programs
    for Urban Youth. In Motion Magazine New York.

  • 4. Garro, L. C. (2000). Cultural Knowledge as
    resource in illness narratives Remembering
    through accounts of illness. In C. Mattingly, L.
    Garro, L.C. (Eds) Narrative and the Cultural
    Construction of illness and healing. Berkeley
    University of California Press.
  • 5. Gonzalez-Lopez, G. (2005). Erotic Journeys
    Mexican Immigrants and Their Sex Lives. Los
    Angeles University of California Press.

  • 6. Sotero, M. (2006). A Conceptual Model of
    Historical Trauma Implications for Public
    Health Practice and Research. Journal of Health
    Disparities Research and Practice, Vol. 1, No. 1,
  • 7. Whaley, A.L. Davis, K.E. (2007). Cultural
    Competence and Evidence-Based Practice in Mental
    Health Services. American Psychologist, Vol. 62,
    No. 6,
  • 563-574.

  • 1. Expand definition of culture cultural
    competency to include immigration stress,
    acculturation stress, minority status model
    historical trauma.
  • 2. Utilize other disciplines to expand our
    understanding of the interplay between culture,
    immigration, minority status, poverty, etc. and
    substance abuse.
  • 3. Identify evaluate existing
    models/program of culturally competent substance
    abuse treatment prevention.