This chapter aims to provide a global perspective on substance abuse among adolescents across different cultures, and to review appropriate strategies in communicating with the adolescent population about substance abuse. Drug abuse continues to be a major public health issue in the United States, especially among adolescents. The attitude toward and involvement in drug abuse among adolescents is a complex problem shaped by multiple psychosocial parameters. Psychosocial variables such as ethnicity, and religion, and group dynamics, while deeply intertwined in shaping the cultural identity of adolescents, also deliver their impact to substance abuse in this patient population. In a society largely composed of a diverse immigrant population, cultural sensitivity of the healthcare provider to patient culture is critical to patient centered care and effective clinical outcomes. Summary: Cultural sensitivity of healthcare providers is critical to addressing the health needs of adolescent patients in the increasingly culturally heterogeneous patient population of the United States.

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Published in Rural Child Health: International Aspects. Erica Bell, & Joav Merrick, (Eds.). p. 183-187.

©2010 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

The copyright holder has granted permission for posting the chapter here.

Reprinted as an article in International Journal on Disability and Human Development, v. 8, issue 2, p. 155-158.

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