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Mary Cuadrado, Ph.DMary Cuadrado, Ph.D., Louis Lieberman, Ph.D.

This project examines the feasibility of using Juramentos (pledges usually made to the Virgin of Guadalupe or a saint—in the presence of a Roman Catholic Priest—that the Jurado will abstain from drinking or drug use for a fixed period of time) in the United States in a manner similar to how it is practiced in Mexico. There, Juramentos are used to reduce vulnerability to increasing substance abuse and functionally serve to enable the Jurado to avoid socially destructive behaviors that are a consequence of substance misuse. The two main aims of this study are:

  1. To determine the existence and size of the population of Roman Catholic Priests who would be willing to continue or begin participation in Juramentos in the Border area.
  2. To determine the types and locations of substance abuse treatment programs that are willing to incorporate Juramentos into their treatment and after-care planning protocols.

In order to accomplish these aims, data was collected:

  1. Using a mail-survey of all priests in contiguous border Parishes of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to estimate the knowledge, experiences, and willingness of priests to perform Juramentos and work with families as well as to estimate the ratio of willing priests to Hispanics in these communities,
  2. Describing the Spanish language abilities and familiarity of priests with Hispanic national cultural differences, and
  3. Conducting in-depth interviews of administrators in drug treatment centers near the U.S.-Mexico border to ascertain their knowledge, experiences and willingness to work with priests and families of residents and out-patients to recommend and utilize Juramentos for the reduction of after-care vulnerability to relapse.