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J Psychoactive Drugs. 1993 Jan-Mar;25(1):35-44.

Cultural issues in an Outpatient Program for stimulant abusers.

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  • 1Substance Abuse Services, San Francisco General Hospital, California 94110.


Cocaine abuse has created widespread problems, especially in poor urban ethnic minority communities. This article discusses the cultural issues in delivering a cocaine treatment program to a predominantly minority patient population. The Stimulant Treatment Outpatient Program (STOP) of San Francisco General Hospital's Substance Abuse Services was established in 1990 as a public service clinic. Many program elements apply equally well to various cultural groups, including individual and group counseling, limited time in treatment, and crisis intervention. Culturally linked clinical issues include provision of a supportive infrastructure, role models in leadership positions, understanding the cultural influences in patients' lives, and establishing communication links with Cultural themes are discussed as they apply to treating African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and clients of different genders. Programmatic outcome indicators, including program attrition, suggest that different cultural groups benefit differentially from the treatment.

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