-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic-American adults
have lower rates of alcohol and illicit drug use than the national
averages, a federal government study has found.
The research revealed that 46.1 percent of Hispanic-American
adults drink alcohol and 6.6 percent use illicit drugs, compared
with national average rates of 55.2 percent and 7.9 percent,
However, Hispanic-American adults have a slightly higher level
of binge drinking (26.3 percent versus 24.5 percent) and a slightly
higher past-year need for alcohol treatment (8.7 percent versus 8.1
percent), according to a news release from the U.S. Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The study also found significant differences in rates of adult
substance use among various Hispanic-American groups. For example,
the level of past month alcohol use among Spanish Americans is
above the national average and 50 percent higher than among
Dominican Americans (60.8 percent versus 40.3 percent,
respectively). And the rate of current illicit drug use among
Spanish Americans is nearly three times higher than the level among
Dominican Americans (13.1 percent versus 3.9 percent,
Substance use rates are much higher among U.S.-born Hispanic
Americans than those who were born outside the United States. For
example, past-month binge drinking was reported by 57.7 percent of
U.S.-born Hispanic Americans and 37.2 percent of those born outside
the United States, while the rate of past-month illicit drug use
was 11.3 percent for those who were U.S.-born and only 3 percent
for those who were foreign-born, according to the findings.
For this study, researchers analyzed data from 227,791 people
(including 31,848 Hispanic Americans), aged 18 or older, who took
part in the 2004 to 2008 National Surveys on Drug Use and
"Hispanic Americans are one of the fastest growing communities in our country and include a vast array of diverse populations -- each with a unique set of behavioral health strengths, challenges and needs," SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in an agency news release.
"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. Through a more detailed understanding of this diverse community we can better tailor our prevention and treatment strategies to reach all of its members," she added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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