Substance disorders essay

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Psychology

Document 1

The purpose of this essay is to highlight the challenge of substance disorders among special populations. The essay will highlight the current statistics on substance abuse and addiction among Hispanic women and analyze the reasons leading to the statistical information. The essay will conclude by highlighting the barriers to various treatment options and the implications these barriers have on the community. Statistics People from Hispanic descent living in the United States of America have grown to take a significant role in the policy-making process in America. The Hispanic community is made up of individuals who identify with Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and much of Central America as their place of origin. The total number of Hispanic women in America were slightly less than half of the total number of Hispanics (SAMHSA, 2009).

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At approximately 24 million, this group is a growing target for substance abuse and addiction. Alcohol is the main substance abused by most demographics. However, for Hispanic women, the statistics behind alcohol were considerably lower. Only 12 percent of women are estimated to be affected by alcohol abuse and addiction while approximately 57 percent of women reported having abstained from alcohol in totality (SAMHSA, 2009). The Hispanic demographic is undergoing a significant transformation where most Hispanics are citizens by birth as opposed to immigrants (SAMHSA, 2009). This has a significant effect on the patterns established in relation to substance abuse and addiction. The process of immigration and the challenges that an immigrant faces in America have long been the root cause of substance abuse and addiction among Hispanic women.

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However, as more Hispanics are born in America and are entitled to more rights than immigrants, the stigma of immigration does not affect their daily lives. This is a contributing factor to the low percentage of Hispanic women who engage in substance abuse. At the same time, there are high standards set for Hispanic women that are commonly tagged as the “proper role of a senorita”. These standards include prohibitions from substance use that leads to addiction and abuse (Dillon et al. Acculturation erodes traditional Hispanic values among women and replaced them with modern American values. American values lack prohibitions such as those entailed in traditional values. This allows more women to engage in substance addiction and abuse. A more specific focus with regard to Hispanic women reveals that cultural differences create barriers to developing focused target group clinical treatments (SAMHSA, 2009).

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Hispanic culture prohibits public discussions of matters such as substance abuse to children. As a result, most children are not aware of the dangers that exist with regard to prolonged substance use. Ultimately, alienation from cultural heritage creates a barrier for women who are undergoing treatment from a culturally developed treatment program. Factors such as gender roles and the position of women in society all play a role in creating barriers towards treatment. Individuals who fail to undergo treatment risk more frequent and aggravated instances of panic attacks. Non-treatment also leads to a deteriorating quality of life for the individual. For Hispanic women, the lack of treatment costs them their families and employment. In any society, women are viewed as morally upright and are expected to exhibit such standards.

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