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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200548 Find in a Library
Title: African American Substance Use: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:9  Issue:5  Dated:May 2003  Pages:576-589
Author(s): William L. Turner; Beverly Wallace
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the prevalence, correlates, and consequences of alcohol and drug abuse by African-Americans, especially women.
Abstract: The non-White population of the United States is growing faster than the non-Hispanic White population. The growth in this population, coupled with the fact that the Black and Hispanic populations reside mainly within urban areas, which are known for increasing risks of drug and alcohol abuse, makes the treatment and prevention of drug abuse among the non-White population increasingly important. Moreover, research has shown that the problems associated with substance abuse impact the African-American population disproportionately. Statistical information regarding the prevalence of substance abuse among different populations is presented. The authors contend that despite these facts, little is known about how race, culture, and substance abuse interact. Without culturally sensitive substance abuse prevention and treatment programs, the drug and alcohol problems experienced by African-Americans will continue to grow. The authors note several areas in which prevention, treatment, and research are lacking when it comes to helping the non-White population overcome substance abuse problems. They site inappropriate research methodologies, the lack of culturally competent research teams, and the misguided assumption of homogeneity within the African-American population as some of the main obstacles to successfully treating African-Americans with substance abuse problems. Additionally, the authors argue that African-American women are at special risk for substance abuse because of a bevy of psychological and social variables, such as a lack of social support, high levels of stressful life events, and historical racism that has worked to keep many African-American women in low-income brackets. The authors contend that to break the escalating cycle of substance abuse within African-American communities, the Eurocentric ideology that has historically guided treatment and intervention practices must be abandoned in favor of culturally relevant practices that account for the significance of cultural and structural circumstances faced by non-Whites in the United States.
Main Term(s): Black/African Americans; Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Drug treatment; Treatment effectiveness
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