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, respectively.
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, respectively).
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.