Drug & Alcohol Treatment Services for the Asian American Community in the United States
Within the United States, the Asian American/Pacific Islander group makes up over 20 subpopulations, representing numerous languages, religions and cultures. This can include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Laotian, Indonesian, Cambodian, Filipino, Thai, Hawaiian, and Samoan. Throughout much of recent American culture, Asian-Americans have often been viewed as a ‘model minority’, as many of them easily assimilate into the mainstream, and have a strong work ethic, good family structures, and motivation to achieve that American dream. However, like any other culture living in America, there are conflicts and personal problems that the Asian-American community does face within its culture. Many of the statistics produced in the United States that revolve around substance abuse do show that Asian-Americans have lower rates of substance abuse, generally, than other racial groups in the country. Statistics such as those that come from the National Institute on Substance Abuse and Alcoholism report that the rate of alcohol abuse among Asian Americans is around 38%. However, this is one statistic, and will not necessarily show what may be happening with the devastating effects of drugs on alcohol within the Asian-American community.
The United States Census Bureau shows the Asian-American community as one of the largest demographics of people within the country. There are over 17 million Americans who represent the Asian-American community, and because of how diverse this particular culture is, it can be difficult to get accurate statistics about how drugs and alcohol do impact the various communities throughout the country. Many studies that look at the substance abuse among ethnic groups do point out that the substance abuse rates are higher among U.S. born Asian Americans, than those who may have immigrated to the country. Much of this is because of the pressures of acculturation, and the pressures placed on youth from immigrant families to try drugs and alcohol. There are of course many other reasons why those of the Asian American culture would abuse drugs and alcohol, and this could be a history of family trauma, personal pain, or the difficulties of joining a new culture. Many immigrants coming from other countries did experience some type of violence or persecution in the countries they did originate from, which could contribute to an addiction.
Did you know this about treatment for the asian community?
Although the Asian American community is one of the largest ethnic groups in the country, it can also be hard to integrate a new culture, which means it's important for this community to receive treatment that is culturally inclusive.
Some of the more commonly used illicit drugs among Asian Americans include club’s drugs such as ecstasy, LSD, crystal meth, and ketamine. Typically, the use of alcohol and drugs among Asian Americans is lower than many other cultures within the country. However, second, and third-generation Asian-Americans are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. In recent years, club drugs have become popular with this demographic, and within the larger metropolitan areas, this is especially true. The reasons someone would choose to use drugs and alcohol are unique, but somewhat familiar, such as a way to self medicate for loneliness, anxiety, depression, or other emotions that cannot be coped with. Along with substance abuse in the Asian American cultures, there are also compulsive gambling problems, and the statistics that come from the National Asian and Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse do show that problem gambling has been a long-standing issue for many Asian American families.
Studies that have been done to look at substance abuse among Asian Americans show that roughly 80% have consumed alcohol in the past month, close to two-thirds will use marijuana in the past 30 days, and 55% have used more than five different drugs in their life time. Treatment for substance abuse disorders among the Asian American community is available all throughout the United States. Some of the drug treatment facilities, may provide services in languages other than English, and all types of treatment methodologies are available. Drug and alcohol addiction, along with gambling addiction is a problem that many Asian American families struggle with, but with the right help, all of these problems can be beaten and overcome.
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