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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2009 Dec;37(4):398-406. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2009.05.006. Epub 2009 Jun 23.

Reducing cultural barriers to substance abuse treatment among Asian Americans: a case study in New York City.

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New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Albany, NY 12203, USA.


This article addresses the issue of underutilization of treatment services by Asian Americans. Although Asian Americans continue to be the fastest growing ethnic minority in New York City, they are reported to underutilize substance abuse treatment services. However, much of the underutilization may be attributed to cultural and language barriers hindering them from seeking help and support. Past literature indicates that when culturally appropriate services are available, service utilization tends to increase among Asian Americans. This study tested strategies to enhance the continuum of care in the Asian community by adapting a well-documented generic early intervention model in a culture-specific setting. The results of this study indicate that these models may be successfully adapted to culturally specific settings such as Asian American communities. When culturally competent services combined with case management and motivational interviewing are provided, there tends to be an increase in Asian clients' chance of accomplishing treatment goals.

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