Latinos with disabilities rely on cultural ties to avoid substance abuse

September 23, 2013, University of Michigan
Latinos with disabilities rely on cultural ties to avoid substance abuse

People with physical disabilities often turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with their condition, but many disabled Latinos rely heavily on cultural ties with family and friends to help them steer clear of substance abuse, say University of Michigan researchers.

Unlike previous research that only looked at negative factors, a new U-M study indicates that identifying as Latino and being associated with Latino might shape intrapersonal risk and protection factors, said David Córdova, an assistant professor of social work.

"Understanding intrapersonal processes is essential to improving the health and mental health of this population," said Córdova, the study's lead author.

Researchers used data from five Los Angeles community organizations serving Latinos and persons with disabilities who reported alcohol and drug use within the past year. Respondents were between the ages of 18 and 35.

To identify intrapersonal risk factors, respondents described and photographed their experiences as a Latino with a disability as it related to . Four themes emerged in the participants' reflections: experiencing pain and sadness; trying to escape and forget about the disability; feeling inferior to others; and wishing they could be saved.

Córdova and colleagues found that, in general, if disabled Latinos feel discriminated against or excluded socially, their experiences as a disabled person becomes more pronounced.

Some participants shared photographs representing experiences aimed at overcoming and of disability, thereby reducing risk of alcohol and drug use. These incidents involved people learning to adapt and performing tasks independently. Some participants wanted to improve and cohesion, but were reluctant to do so because openly sharing concerns about difficult topics might place a burden on others.

Córdova said there isn't an effective family-based intervention for alcohol and drug use among Latinos with disabilities. As a result, some respondents expressed feeling misunderstood by mental health service providers.

The findings appear in the Journal of Social Work Practice in Addictions.

Explore further: Public health researcher examines link between discrimination and drug abuse

More information: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/1 … .812007#.Ujw9_Ya9ZBk

Related Stories

Public health researcher examines link between discrimination and drug abuse

September 18, 2013
A study about the correlation between discrimination and drug abuse by Haslyn E. R. Hunte, Ph.D., assistant professor in the West Virginia University School of Public Health Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and ...

People with disabilities at greater risk of violence and subsequent mental ill-health

February 20, 2013
People with disabilities are at a greater risk of being the victims of violence and of suffering mental ill health when victimized, according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Hind Khalifeh ...

Blacks and Latinos seek mental health care less often

July 19, 2013
Blacks and Latinos receive less adequate mental health care than Whites, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Adapting to mainstream lowers diabetes risk in African-Americans

August 26, 2013
Trying to find a produce store or a large grocer in an economically depressed neighborhood is about as easy as finding an apple in a candy store.

Kids' attitudes toward disabled people improve with contact

August 29, 2013
(HealthDay)—Children's attitudes toward people with disabilities improve when kids have more contact with them, according to a new study.

Recommended for you

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

December 4, 2017
Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms.

For opiate addiction, study finds drug-assisted treatment is more effective than detox

November 23, 2017
Say you're a publicly insured Californian with an addiction to heroin, fentanyl or prescription narcotics, and you want to quit.

Study finds medical cannabis is effective at reducing opioid addiction

November 17, 2017
A new study conducted by researchers at The University of New Mexico, involving medical cannabis and prescription opioid use among chronic pain patients, found a distinct connection between having the legal ability to use ...

Insomnia linked to alcohol-use frequency among early adolescents, says new psychology study

November 8, 2017
Insomnia is linked to frequency of alcohol use among early adolescents, according to new Rutgers University–Camden research.

Large declines seen in teen substance abuse, delinquency

October 25, 2017
More than a decade of data indicates teens have become far less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs, and they also are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, such as fighting and stealing, according ...

Trying to get sober? NIH offers tool to help find good care

October 3, 2017
The phone calls come—from fellow scientists and desperate strangers—with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober?

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.