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30.04.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 5/2017

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 5/2017

The Perceived Role of Family in Heroin Use Behaviors of Mexican–American Men

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health > Ausgabe 5/2017
Steven R. Applewhite, Carolyn A. Mendez-Luck, Dennis Kao, Luis R. Torres, Ashleigh Scinta, Yolanda R. Villarreal, Ali Haider, Patrick S. Bordnick


The influence of the family is not well understood as it relates to drug use behaviors of Hispanic male adults. We examined the family’s influence on drug use behavior, as perceived by Hispanic men who use heroin. One-time qualitative interviews were conducted with 21 current and former heroin users who participated in a larger study on long-term heroin use in Mexican–American men. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Three main themes emerged: family as a supportive environment for heroin use; heroin as a family legacy; and, the family’s strategies for helping to stop using heroin. A sub-theme emerged on the paradox of family involvement, which spanned the three main themes. This research lays a foundation for future work to disentangle the risks and benefits of family involvement to inform culturally-centered therapies and cultural adaptations to traditional therapeutic approaches with Mexican–American men who abuse drugs.

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