There's an old saying in the Vietnamese community that "a man without drink is like a flag without wind," according to Chau Nguyen, the program coordinator for a substance abuse prevention program in Little Saigon.
Unfortunately, he added, "some people still have that attitude."
But Nguyen hopes to take the wind out of the addictive sail in the cities of Westminster and Garden Grove, with an extra $45,000 in federal money the county plans to give the Vietnamese Community Alcohol Drug Prevention Planning Services.
Nguyen intends to hire two outreach prevention specialists, one part time and one full time, whose sole job will be to inform the Vietnamese community about the dangers of abusing drugs or drinking too much.
The program is managed by the Vietnamese Community of Orange County Inc., a nonprofit organization that applies for the federal substance abuse prevention funds each year.
The county's Health Care Agency recommended to the Board of Supervisors that $45,000 be given to the Vietnamese community because the substance abuse prevention program needs more staff, said Deborah Schober, a senior contract administrator for the agency.
Now, the program has two employees, Nguyen and the director, both of whom were originally expecting $75,000 in federal funds to carry out their prevention services for fiscal year 1995-96.