Garcia Examines “Substance Abuse Treatments among Transnational Mexican Migrants”

Posted on 2/20/2013 1:44:27 PM

Victor Garcia, anthropologist and director of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute, gave a presentation on his NIH-funded research on AA-based therapies and transnational labor migration at the Prevention Research Center at Berkeley, California, in January 2013.

The Prevention Research Center is a center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. It advances Prevention Science, or “the study of the mechanisms by which adverse health outcomes may be prevented by early intervention, education, environmental change, and policy change.”

Garcia’s talk, “Enfermos y Terapia: Substance Abuse Treatments among Transnational Mexican Migrants,” centered on the migrants’ use of traditional Alcoholics Anonymous groups and other AA-based groups, such as 24-hour groups—or anexos, as they are known in Mexico—to treat their alcohol and drug abuse. The lack of local and affordable treatments at the migrants’ U.S. worksites and Mexican homeland communities are the major reasons for using AA treatments over others. These treatments, he argues, are ideal for transnational populations. They are affordable, draw on core cultural and religious beliefs, and can easily be initiated in one country and continued in another.