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Subst Use Misuse. 1997 Mar;32(4):415-24.

Cultural linkage: treating Maori with alcohol and drug problems in dedicated Maori treatment programs.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine, New Zealand.


Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand and suffer more health problems, including alcohol and drug-related problems, per head of population compared with the Pakeha (non-Maori) population. An initiative to develop dedicated Maori alcohol and drug user treatment programs, which offer "cultural linkage," is currently being undertaken. This initiative is based on the premise that addressing cultural needs makes alcohol and drug treatment more effective for Maori than mainstream programs which do not specifically address these special needs issues. As yet, there are no data from controlled studies which address this proposition. Key problems related to the development of "cultural linkage" programs in New Zealand are identified and solutions suggested along with future direction for research in this area.

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