Loue (Case Western Reserve U.) points out that the historical legacy of particular populations in the US shapes not only the initiation and persistence of substance abuse among its members, but also barriers to treatment. She reviews the fundamentals of diversity and substance abuse, then discusses the development of drug policy, race and ethnicity, sex and sexual orientation, treatment, and research. Annotation ©2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Reviewer:Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description:The book shows how important diversity issues are in dealing with substance abuse treatment, research, and policy. The populations discussed include African-Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos, women, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients.
Purpose:According to the author, "although the term 'diversity' is widely used, there is often no agreement as to its meaning or how attention to diversity should be operationalized within the context of programming or research. This book provides a foundation for the examination of such issues, with suggestions for the integration of various approaches into substance use treatment programs and research." The book meets these worthy objectives.
Audience:According to the author, "this is a useful textbook for classes on substance abuse, and will also help the seasoned clinician to break down barriers in the understanding and treatment of substance dependence within specific communities." I agree with the author's opinion regarding the target audience.
Features:The book goes to great lengths to define diversity, and to show the historical and cultural context of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native-Americans, women, and the gay community, as related to substance abuse. It talks about public policy regarding drugs, and how diversity issues should be integrated with drug treatment. This book drives home the point of the importance of considering diversity in treatment and research. It is easy for members of the majority culture to think that America is just a big melting pot and diversity should not be so important in the 21st century, since we have made so much progress with the civil rights movement. However, the book emphasizes that we have not yet arrived at the point where every member of society is treated equally and there is much mistrust among minorities, as well as misunderstanding of them by the dominant culture.
Assessment:The book is good because it focuses solely on diversity and substance abuse. It gives suggestions on how to develop culture-centric approaches in treatment and include diversity issues in addiction research. It sensibly deals with sensitive issues.