Indigenous and expatriate addicts in Laos: A Comparison

Joseph Westermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Opium addiction has been reported among virtually all large ethnic groups in Asia. Conspicuous by its absence has been any mention of addiction among the Lao, a people surrounded by poppy-growing tribal groups. A sample of Lao patient-addicts are here compared to expatriate Asian addicts in Laos. Lao and expatriate addicts show marked similarity in their sociodemographic profiles and patterns of narcotic use. Some differences in their recent use of narcotic drugs appear related to the greater cash income of the expatriate Asians and their greater access to heroin. No specifically 'cultural' factors for explaining ethnic differences in addiction have yet been identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-150
Number of pages12
JournalCulture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1978


Dive into the research topics of 'Indigenous and expatriate addicts in Laos: A Comparison'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this