Monday, January 21, 2008

Local Programs Break Cultural Barrier

The problem with many of the federally funded studies that provide valuable information to treatment and rehabilitation centers across the country is that their main study samples are usually made up of white men. The majority of people in treatment in the United States are white men, so in the beginning, this approach to research studies made sense. However, now that the basic epidemiological studies have been done, it’s about time to focus on different cultures and ethnicities that may have characteristics that affect the outcome of drug addiction treatment.

To that end, I’m highlighting a few different programs that may be local in scope but could have worldwide effectiveness. To start with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is sponsoring a program that focuses on substance abuse prevention in American Indian communities. The Cherokee Nation is one of five tribal groups is one of five who will take part.

The Mental Health Association of Westchester County in New York was recently awarded a $50,000 grant by the van Ameringen Foundation to support the expansion of Nuestro Futuro. This organization serves Hispanics and the grant will help wipe out the waiting list of Hispanics in need of mental health and substance abuse treatment services. It will also focus on outreach and education in this community.

San Joaquin County in California has agreed to provide the nonprofit Human Services Project with $1.1 million in an effort to learn more about the substance abuse treatment needs in a number of specific cultural groups including its Asian, American Indian, black, Hispanic, Muslim, Middle Eastern and gay populations. The goal is to help people in these groups to keep their housing and avoid hospitalization through county services.

If you’re not finding treatment services in your community that speak specifically to your needs, you can take matters into your own hands. Those who are addicted to opiate painkillers may find that the treatment services nearest to them are not conducive to rehabilitation for them. Especially in small towns or rural areas, ethnic and cultural minorities may not feel especially welcome in drug rehab programs. The feeling of alienation due to drug addiction is bad enough without feeling like you’re even more singled out due to your religion, skin color or family’s cultural background. You can get a Suboxone prescription and treat your drug addiction in the privacy of your own home. Your family and friends don’t even have to know that you have a problem since you take your Suboxone pills just as you’ve taken other prescription painkillers before. It’s hard to hide your addiction to drugs when you enroll in an inpatient treatment or day treatment rehab center. Handle your addiction privately with a truly private Suboxone treatment.

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