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J Cult Divers. 1999 Fall;6(3):102-6.

African American women and substance abuse: an overview.

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  • 1Department of Nursing, Chicago State University, Illinois 60628, USA.


Contemporary trends and forces suggest that drug use and drug abuse among women may be rooted in a cultural context. Cultural patterns and experiences provide situations out of which women forge their sense of self, their identity, their concept of race and ethnicity, their notion of gender, and their sense of class. A woman's life experience and situation, and cultural roles and beliefs generally influence drug abuse. This paper builds on the cultural context of drug use by analyzing the socialization of women, and the life circumstances and socio-demographic experiences women face. Specifically, this cultural context framework forms the foundation for the prevention of drug abuse and the extent to which health professionals need to understand drug abuse and to treat women effectively across class, and racial and ethnic differences.

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