Department of Psychiatry, Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, 120 Beacon St., 4th Floor, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School, Somerville, MA 02143, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Delivery of services to Hispanic drug users remains a great challenge, as shown by low service access and retention, and disproportionate negative consequences of drug abuse in the Hispanic population. This paper provides a critical analysis of current services research on Hispanics with drug abuse problems, identifies gaps in the knowledge, and offers recommendations for scientific opportunities to address these gaps, focusing on four central needs: (1) the need to understand the circumstances of Hispanics in their own communities (i.e., community context); (2) the need to develop and test service delivery models tailored to Hispanics' circumstances and special needs; (3) the need to remove client, provider, and system barriers to utilization; and (4) the need to establish links between drug abuse services, social services, and other service sectors to optimize treatment outcomes. The authors suggest an approach that begins with a focus on the local Hispanic community and builds understanding of the cultural context, inclusion of indigenous resources, recognition of barriers to enrollment and retention, and coordination of related services.