Integrating cultural variables into drug abuse prevention and treatment with racial/ethnic minorities

Felipe Castro, Eduardo Hernández Alarcón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


A set of variables, identified as "cultural variables," is introduced as important descriptors of the life experiences of people from the major ethnic/racial minority groups in the United States. It is stated that most contemporary models for prevention and treatment of substance abuse are "culturally blind" to the effects of these cultural variables on the risk of substance abuse among racial/ethnic minority people. Accordingly, a viable strategy for culturally relevant research and program design is to integrate these cultural variables into extant models to create culturally rich models for research as well as for the development of prevention and treatment programs. The use of "model programs" is discussed in regard to the competing aims of maintaining program fidelity while also making cultural adaptations to these model programs to make them more culturally relevant. Strategies and recommendations are presented for integrating cultural variables into prevention and treatment programs that purport to serve racial/ethnic minority people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-810
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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