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One component of Maine’s Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant is to conduct needs and resources assessments of specific cultural subpopulations that we lack sufficient information related to substance abuse to ensure that culturally competent prevention services are available. “Cultural subpopulations” include both racial/ethnic groups and other cultural “communities” in Maine that are bound by a common set of cultural characteristics (see below for a definition of cultural subpopulations). This work helps Maine prevention practitioners to understand and effectively work with these populations in designing and delivering culturally competent prevention programs and practices.
Based on national research, and limited state data, it appears that some cultural groups may experience elevated substance abuse problems and related health and safety risks. These disparities may be related to specific risk or protective factors (i.e. social norms related to substance use or availability of specific substances) and/or to unique aspects of the relationship between certain cultural characteristics or norms and the larger social environment (i.e. the connection between specific socioeconomic inequalities and substance abuse or the impact of advertising promotions targeting a specific cultural group).
A Cultural Subpopulation is defined as any subpopulation in the state
which shares a distinct set of cultural characteristics that appear
to influence the substance abuse patterns and related impacts within
that group. Culture is defined by the National Center on Cultural Competence,
Georgetown University as “an integrated pattern of human behavior,
which includes but is not limited to—thought, communication,
languages, beliefs, values, practices, customs, courtesies, rituals,
manners of interacting, roles, relationships and expected behaviors
of a racial, ethnic, religious, social or political group; the ability
to transmit the above to succeeding generations; dynamic in nature.
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