American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) exhibit high levels of alcohol and drug (AOD) use and problems. Although approximately 70% of AI/ANs reside in urban areas, few culturally relevant AOD use programs targeting urban AI/AN youth exist. Furthermore, federally-funded studies focused on the integration of evidence-based treatments with AI/AN traditional practices are limited. The current study addresses a critical gap in the delivery of culturally appropriate AOD use programs for urban AI/AN youth, and outlines the development of a culturally tailored AOD program for urban AI/AN youth called Motivational Interviewing and Culture for Urban Native American Youth (MICUNAY). We conducted focus groups among urban AI/AN youth, providers, parents, and elders in two urban communities in northern and southern California aimed at 1) identifying challenges confronting urban AI/AN youth and 2) obtaining feedback on MICUNAY program content. Qualitative data were analyzed using Dedoose, a team-based qualitative and mixed methods analysis software platform. Findings highlight various challenges, including community stressors (e.g., gangs, violence), shortage of resources, cultural identity issues, and a high prevalence of AOD use within these urban communities. Regarding MICUNAY, urban AI/AN youth liked the collaborative nature of the motivational interviewing (MI) approach, especially with regard to eliciting their opinions and expressing their thoughts. Based on feedback from the youth, three AI/AN traditional practices (beading, AI/AN cooking, and prayer/sage ceremony) were chosen for the workshops. MICUNAY is the first AOD use prevention intervention program for urban AI/AN youth that integrates evidence-based treatment with traditional practices. This program addresses an important gap in services for this underserved population. (Author abstract)
Integrating motivational interviewing and traditional practices to address alcohol and drug use among urban American Indian/Alaska Native youth
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