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Substance Abuse Issues In the Asian American Community PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Substance Abuse Issues In the Asian American Community Recovery Month Community Forum September 22 nd , 2006 Asian Population in New York State According to the Census Bureau as of 2005 New York State has 19,254,630 people, and of that approximately 6.5% are Asian; 1,251,550.

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Substance Abuse Issues In the Asian American Community

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Substance abuse issues in the asian american community l.jpg

Substance Abuse Issues In the Asian American Community

Recovery Month Community Forum

September 22nd, 2006


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Asian Population in New York State

  • According to the Census Bureau as of 2005 New York State has 19,254,630 people, and of that approximately 6.5% are Asian; 1,251,550.

  • That number represents 10 percent of the entire United State’s Asian population as residing in New York State.

  • Over 75% of those Asians in New York State reside in New York City, representing roughly 7% of the United State’s Asian population.

  • Asians are the fastest growing minority in NYC, from 1990-2000 the group grew 70 percent, compared to an overall population growth of just 9 percent.


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Cultural Factors

  • Many Asian cultures believe issues such as addiction are to be resolved within the family, and that taking them outside the family is shameful.

  • Drinking is seen as an acceptable way to deal with personal problems as long as you don’t disgrace the family.

  • Drinking can sometimes be a status symbol in social or business settings.

  • Refusing a drink from a person of stature, an elder, or a boss, is seen as rude and disrespectful.

  • Talk therapy is not common in Asian countries and can be difficult for Asians to utilize.


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Barriers to Treatment

  • Shame, guilt and stigma associated with addiction disorders in Asian cultures.

  • Lack of culturally appropriate services with inadequate language capabilities.

  • Lack of outreach efforts because of Asians being seen as a “model minority” who are not in need of services.


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Model Minority Myth

  • Due to immigration laws in Asia and the United States preference has been given to those with higher education and skilled labor expertise.

  • Changes in Asian Nations and United States policy have lead to larger and more diverse immigration from Asian Nations in the last twenty years.

  • This long held misconception that Asians do not suffer from the same afflictions as the rest of the population has lead to an under representation of Asians in treatment.


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Asian Assimilation

  • Language barriers, and difficulty learning English due to it’s vastly different grammatical structure from Asian languages

  • Having to take available work, which can often be a step down from their work at home.

  • Intergenerational issues regarding keeping traditions but wanting to adjust and fit into American culture.


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Assimilation Continued

  • Intergenerational communication issues

    • Children bearing the burden of knowing English and navigating their parents through routine activities where English is needed.

    • Children not being able to fully communicate with their parents because their Asian language proficiency is not on par with their parent’s.

    • Parent’s stay in isolated communities to be near the familiar while children often explore outside these communities through school and other activities.


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Assimilation Continued

  • Facing racial discrimination and derision for many things including but not limited to language abilities.

  • Regardless of time spent in America or Citizenship status having to answer the question “But where are you from?”

  • Adjustment due to previous country’s adverse conditions:

    • War

    • Poverty

    • Oppression


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Outreach

  • Vital to reducing stigma and shame, and normalizing the idea that people can reach out and get help for addiction problems.

  • Educating Asians as well as the people who serve them about the signs and symptoms to look for and the best approaches to engaging the client for treatment.

  • Creating a network where all human service organizations serving Asians see the importance of screening for substance abuse issues, and make proper referrals.


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Treatment Approaches

  • Aversion to group counseling; most Asian cultures are extremely private and taught not to share personal problems.

  • Philosophical disconnect with 12 step approach

  • Very responsive to the inclusion of medical staff, pharmacological treatment, and integrating overall health into the treatment plan.


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Treatment Approaches

  • Important to be aware of the clients’ culture and to recognize and integrate any Eastern approaches the client wants to take.

  • Studies have demonstrated that treatment utilization by Asian Americans increases substantially when bilingual and culturally appropriate personnel provide the treatment Service.


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