Faculty Member

Drug use among older adults is a growing concern, particularly for the burgeoning Hispanic population. Older adults seeking drug treatment will double over the next decade to almost 6 million. Cultural factors influence drug use, and more specifically, Hispanic cultural values influence heroin use. This study explored Mexican-American injection drug users’ adherence to traditional Hispanic cultural values and their impact on cessation. Ethnographic interviews endorsed contextualized influences of values on heroin use. Cultural values functioned dichotomously, influencing both initiation and cessation. Understanding the impact of cultural values on substance abuse is critical given the changing demographics in American society.