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Racial and Ethnic Minorities, Issues in Alcohol and Other Drug Use

Providing quality alcohol and other drug (AOD) prevention and treatment services requires an awareness of the multiple, unique needs of the individuals being served, including an understanding of the sociocultural factors affecting AOD use and abuse patterns. Previous research reveals a complex relationship between race-ethnicity and AOD patterns. For example, a recent study on factors contributing to differences in substance use among African American and White non-Hispanic adolescents suggests an age-related crossover effect. Specifically, African Americans were less likely than Whites to exhibit heavy drinking patterns and drug use during adolescence. However, by age 35 African Americans had higher rates of AOD use and related problems than Whites. The findings from this and similar studies support the notion that for AOD services to be effective ...

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