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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Possible barriers to enrollment in substance abuse treatment among a diverse sample of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: opinions of treatment clients.

  • Author(s): Masson, Carmen L
  • Shopshire, Michael S
  • Sen, Soma
  • Hoffman, Kim A
  • Hengl, Nicholas S
  • Bartolome, John
  • McCarty, Dennis
  • Sorensen, James L
  • Iguchi, Martin Y
  • et al.

This mixed methods study examined motivations and barriers to substance abuse treatment entry and treatment continuation among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) substance users. AAPI substance users (N = 61) were recruited from substance abuse treatment programs in California and Hawaii. Semi-structured interviews and interviewer-administered surveys assessed barriers and facilitators to entering substance abuse treatment. Barriers included peer pressure, family influences, and face loss concerns. Facilitators included peer support, involvement in the criminal justice system, a perceived need for treatment, and culturally competent substance abuse treatment services. Family and peer influences may act as both facilitators and impediments. AAPI substance using populations face many of the same individual-level and structural and systems barriers to entry to treatment as other substance using populations. However, similar to other racial/ethnic minority groups, it is important to address cultural differences and develop culturally competent substance abuse treatments for the AAPI population.

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