An introduction to multicultural intervention for addiction

Nobody wishes to find themselves worrying about the substance abuse of a friend or loved one. However, the fact remains that some form of intervention for addiction is frequently necessary to assist that person in breaking free from the devastating effects of drug or alcohol abuse. However, the principles behind such intervention and treatment are all-important. Not only must the treatment be readily accessible when help is required, but it must also be tailored to the individual, taking into account their problems, age, gender, culture and ethnicity.

It is such principles that underpin multicultural intervention for addiction. Spanish speakers, for instance, are frequently supported through their various life challenges by cultural dynamics that have applied to their lives since birth. The most suitable addiction treatment program will always honor these dynamics, embracing and drawing on the client’s culture as an integral part of the healing process, rather than working against the values and beliefs of the client to fit them into a one-size-fits-all treatment program.

There are key differences between Hispanic and American cultures that must be acknowledged and handled sensitively if treatment is to be effective. Among those with considerable expertise and experience in designing clinical addiction programs to meet the specific requirements of Spanish-speaking clients are the widely known and respected Miami clinicians Ana Moreno and Generic Cialis Ray Estefania, Co-Founders of Family Recovery Specialists.

The most effective multicultural intervention for addiction programs are run by treatment teams consisting of master’s and doctoral level therapists, a board-certified psychiatrist, patient care coordinators and case managers that are all fluent Spanish speakers. The best multicultural treatment program will also recognize the essential role that family support plays in recovery, and to that end will work closely with clients and their families at every stage of treatment, as well as at several-month intervals after treatment has concluded.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse outlines a series of principles for effective intervention for addiction. These include not only that addiction is a treatable disease, but also that treatment must be tailored to the individual, treatment plans should be subject to reassessment and modification as needed throughout the process and treatment should address behaviors increasing the risk of infectious diseases. However, effective addiction treatment also depends greatly on the diverse needs of each client being taken into account.

Central to this aim is making treatment appropriate to the ethnicity and culture of the individual. When intervention for addiction takes place in a respectful and culturally sensitive environment, the conditions are in place for a treatment program that is both comprehensive and individualized, helping the client to get healthy and stay healthy.

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