Understanding substance abuse among Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian communities

Under an R01 research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) [National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services], DSG (with George Washington University School of Public Health and Georgetown University), conducted an innovative, in-depth qualitative–quantitative study on the nature and extent of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS risk in Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian communities in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area


This very sensitive study was conducted in close collaboration with community organizations. The first phase of the study involved qualitative research to identify initial patterns of substance use and HIV risk, to identify high-risk population segments, and to lay the foundation for the quantitative component. The qualitative research was followed by development of a culturally appropriate quantitative instrument in four languages (English, Vietnamese, Khmer, and Lao) which was administered using state-of-the-art AUDIO–CASI technology.

The results assisted in formulating prevention/intervention programs and best practices to address substance abuse and HIV/AIDS issues in the growing Vietnamese, Khmer, and Lao communities throughout the United States, with potential applications in the home countries



For More Information About the Southeast Asian health education project

Contact DSG president Marcia Cohen at mcohen@dsgonline.com or 301.951.0056