ERIC Number: ED485907
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Faith Matters: Race/Ethnicity, Religion and Substance Use
Wallace, John M., Jr.; Myers, Valerie L.; Osai, Esohe R.
Annie E. Casey Foundation
As a result of stereotypes and limited research, many people perceive substance use, abuse, and dependence as problems resulting from the use of so called "street drugs " like crack and heroin, used primarily by poor black and Hispanic populations. In reality, America's substance use problem encompasses not only these illegal drugs, but also the "recreational" use of "soft" drugs like marijuana, and the extra-medical use of prescription medicines. Recreational use refers to the use of legal drugs like alcohol, illegal drugs like marijuana and cocaine, and the use of other substances like glue, for the specific purpose of altering one's mental state--or in the drug lexicon, "getting high." Extra-medical drug use includes the use of prescription medications in dosages that exceed what has been prescribed by a physician, and the use of other drugs and medications, like Ritalin, for purposes other than those for which they were intended. In an effort to move beyond stereotypes and address some of the limitations of past research, this report uses data from large, nationally representative studies of the American population. It then examines the prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and illegal substance use, abuse, and dependence among black, Hispanic, and white adolescents and adults. A recent review of over 150 studies on drug and alcohol abuse found that people who are more highly religious are less likely to use substances and less likely to experience substance-related consequences. Existing research also suggests that religion and spirituality are related to improved treatment outcomes and continued sobriety among former substance abusers. This report addresses questions about religion, ethnicity, and substance abuse; discusses faith community and substance abuse; and offers promising practices, policies, programs, and recommendations. (Contains 76 endnotes.)
Descriptors: Ethnicity, Racial Differences, Substance Abuse, Religion, Beliefs, Religious Factors, Poverty, Personality Traits
Annie E. Casey Foundation, 701 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21202. Tel: 410-223-2890; Web site: http://www.aecf.org.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.