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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Substance Abuse Treatment

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About the Course:

A report from the Institute of Medicine found that minorities in the United States generally receive inferior health care and have worse health outcomes than Caucasians. Since then, there have been efforts to understand and address racial and ethnic health disparities and reduce these inequities. Such efforts are unlikely to succeed if improvements in substance abuse prevention and treatment are not achieved. Understanding how racial and ethnic minorities differ in the need for treatment and how different groups obtain (or fail to obtain) treatment for their substance abuse problems is critical to achieving greater equality in health care and in health outcomes. This publication addresses that issue.

This course is from our series “Substance Abuse and Societal Issues”. The series is based on Knowledge Assets, published by the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program.

Our other courses in the series include:

  • 101568 – Alcohol Retail Policy
  • 101569DUI Policy
  • 101564 – Increasing the Use of Smoking Cessation Treatments
  • 101570 – Substance Abuse and Welfare Reform
  • 101563 – Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Substance Abuse Treatment
  • 101574 – Syringe Access Interventions
  • 101575 – Minimum Legal Drinking Age Policy
  • 101577 – Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Addiction
  • 101576 – Drug Treatment for Drug Abusing Criminal Offenders

This course is based on the reading-based online article, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Substance Abuse Treatment created by Laura A. Schmidt, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.P.H. and Nina Mulia, Dr.P.H.

Publication Date:

February 2009

Course Material Authors

Course Material Authors authored the material only, and were not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Laura A. Schmidt, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.P.H.
Laura A. Schmidt is an Associate Professor in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California at San Francisco.
Nina Mulia, Dr.P.H.
Nina Mulia is a scientist with the Alcohol Research Group at the Public Health Institute.

Course Creator

Max Schwanekamp

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about racial and ethnic disparities in substance abuse treatment. It is appropriate for all levels of participants' knowledge.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the role of race and ethnicity in health care utilization, including effects of substance abuse on health, and the need for and access to treatment.
  2. Discuss substance abuse care across racial and ethnic groups, including economic factors, pressure to seek treatment, quality of available services, treatment outcomes, and effectiveness of culturally appropriate treatment services.
  3. Identify racial and ethnic considerations regarding the need for substance abuse services, the co-existence of substance abuse problems with psychiatric problems, and access to substance abuse treatments.

Exam Questions

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Course Number 101563
1 CE credit hour
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  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee $5.97
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