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Drug use and service utilization among Hispanics in the United States

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Purpose

To examine illicit drug use and service utilization patterns of US-born and foreign-born Hispanics in the United States.

Methods

Hispanic respondents 18 years and older in the NESARC were categorized as being of Mexican (n = 3,556), Puerto Rican (n = 785), Cuban (n = 346), Central American (n = 513), or South American (n = 381) origin. We examined lifetime prevalence of drug use and substance abuse treatment utilization patterns for US-born and Hispanic immigrants across subgroups.

Results

Lifetime prevalence of drug use was greater among US-born Hispanics than Hispanic immigrants after controlling for age, gender, income, education, urbanicity, parental history of drug use problems and lifetime DSM-IV mood/anxiety disorders. Both US-born and immigrant Hispanic drug users were less likely than non-Hispanic white drug users to have utilized any form of substance abuse treatment (US-born AOR = 0.89, immigrant AOR = 0.64) and more likely to have utilized family or social services (US-born AOR = 1.17, immigrant AOR = 1.19). Compared to US-born Hispanic drug users, Hispanic immigrant drug users were less likely to have used any form of substance abuse treatment (AOR = 0.81) and were more likely to have utilized family or social services (AOR = 1.22).

Conclusion

Strategies to increase engagement and retention of Hispanic drug users in substance abuse treatment include increasing access to linguistically and culturally competent programs that address unmet family and social needs. Further studies examining differences in drug use and service utilization patterns within Hispanic subgroups are needed.

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Correspondence to Michael A. Mancini.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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This research was supported in part by grant number R25 DA030310 (PI: Anthony) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health.

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Mancini, M.A., Salas-Wright, C.P. & Vaughn, M.G. Drug use and service utilization among Hispanics in the United States. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 50, 1679–1689 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-015-1111-5

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