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Community News: Central

CHINATOWN/ECHO PARK : Survey Seeks Asian Attitudes on Drugs

October 23, 1994

Fifty bilingual volunteers fanned out in Echo Park, Westlake and Silver Lake on Saturday as part of a countywide survey about substance abuse and related problems among Asian Americans.

Headed by East/West Community Partnership in Chinatown, a federally funded project of the Asian American Drug Abuse Program, the survey will also be conducted in Chinatown, Koreatown and communities throughout the San Gabriel Valley and South Bay, said Allison Tom, project director. The door-to-door survey will continue through early next year.

The survey addresses such issues as drug habits, opinions on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, domestic violence, knowledge of drug services and community needs.

Once the data is compiled, project organizers hope to create drug prevention programs that will address the community's needs.

Currently, Asian Americans make up 10% of the county population, but few county programs target the community, Tom said.

"The prevailing 'model minority' myth has barred us from these resources. The commissions and Board of Supervisors believe that Asians don't have drug problems," Tom said.

Because many Asian American social agencies are unaware that county funding is unavailable, Tom said, her staff will also inform these groups of possible grants as they survey the communities.

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