Drug and Alcohol Use Lower among Hispanic Americans, Survey Finds

Hispanic-American adults use drugs and alcohol less frequently than the general population, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

HealthDay reported Aug. 7 that the SAMHSA survey data show that 55 percent of adults in the general population use alcohol and 8 percent use drugs compared with 46 percent and 6-1/2 percent rates of use, respectively, among Hispanic Americans.

Furthermore, substance use tends to vary among Hispanic-American subgroups: for example, 13 percent of adults of Spanish descent reported past-month illicit drug use compared with only 4 percent of adults of Dominican descent. Also, substance use rates were much higher among US-born Hispanic Americans than among those born outside the US.

According to SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde, “This study and others indicate that as ethnic and immigrant populations become more acculturated into our national culture, they tend to develop many of the same behavioral health challenges faced by the general population.”

The full report, Substance Use Among Hispanic Adults, is available on the SAMHSA website.

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