Section 3 Additional Resources

Cultural Competency

Clients’ experiences of culture predate and influence their interaction with substance abuse treatment professionals. The majority of substance abuse treatment counselors are White, whereas nearly half of people who seek treatment are not White. [1] Regarding mental health services, clients who are not White express, at much higher rates than do White clients, the belief that they would have received better treatment if they were of another race. [2]

In addition to the references found in the bibliography for Transdisciplinary Foundation IV: Professional Readiness, three Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIPs) provide information about cultural competency and substance abuse treatment. The forthcoming TIP Improving Cultural Competence in Substance Abuse Treatment is wholly devoted to the subject of culturally competent care. Information about the administrative challenges of preparing a program to provide culturally competent treatment can be found in chapter 4 of TIP 46, Substance Abuse: Administrative Issues in Outpatient Treatment, which includes an appendix listing resources for program assessment and cultural competency training. Chapter 10 of TIP 47, Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment, addresses the clinical implications of culturally competent treatment and includes the following:

  • An introduction to current research supporting the need for individualized treatment that is sensitive to culture
  • Principles in the delivery of culturally competent treatment services
  • Topics of special concern, including foreign-born clients, women from other cultures, and religious considerations
  • Clinical implications of culturally competent treatment
  • Sketches of diverse client populations, including Hispanics/Latinos; African Americans; Native Americans; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; persons with HIV/AIDS; lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations; persons with physical and cognitive disabilities; rural populations; homeless populations; and older adults
  • An appendix that lists resources on culturally competent treatment for various populations.

  1. Mulvey, K.P., Hubbard, S., & Hayashi, S. (2003). A national study of the substance abuse treatment workforce. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 24:51-57.
  2. La Veist, T.A., Diala, C., & Jarrett, N.C. (2000). Social status and perceived discrimination: Who experiences discrimination in the health care system, how, and why? In C.J.R. Hogue, M.A. Hargraves, & K.S. Collins (Eds.) Minority Health in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 194-208.


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