National Center for Farmworker Health
1770 FM 967 • Buda, TX 78610
(512) 312-2700
(800) 531-5120
fax (512) 312-2600

Addictions in the Farmworker Community

Author: Gonzalez, Alfred

One of the biggest dilemmas in creating effective and efficient intervention strategies for the farmworker population lies in the identification of the substance abusing and alcoholic client. The farmworker population is heterogeneous. A mistake many of us make is thinking of the farmworker community, migrant and seasonal, as strictly Hispanic in make up. The breakdown of patients seen and services at Tri-County Community Health Center, Newton Grove is: 65% Hispanic/Latino; 32% African American; 2.5% Anglo American; and .5% Haitian. An ethnic/racial group's shared norms, beliefs, and expectations regarding alcohol and its effects shape not only the group members' drinking habits per se, but also the ways in which the members behave while drinking and their perceptions of personal and collective responsibility for the outcomes of drinking. The myriad social problems that result from racism and discrimination, along with the widespread tendency to use chemical substances to cope with resulting frustration, have contributed to the development of a national substance abuse epidemic.

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Number of Pages: 14