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Alcohol use, acculturation and socioeconomic status among Hispanic Latino men and women: The Hispanic Community Health Study Study of Latinos PMC

hispanic alcohol

Both acculturation and assimilation have been found to impact substance use within the Latinx community, for example in 2008 and 2019 research. Assimilation refers to the process individuals and groups of different backgrounds go through, such as learning a new language, when they adapt to a new, dominant culture of a society. Acculturation refers to culture change and a transfer of values such as religious, social, and health values from one group to another. While the presence of other mental health conditions is not unique to the Latinx community, it may still contribute to high rates of SUDs. In this article, the gender-neutral term Latinx is used to refer to folks who identify as “Hispanic,” “Latino,” “Latina,” or “Latinx” in the United States.

These differences would most likely not approach statistical significance (except perhaps for the overall percentages of individuals who received treatment for any substance use disorder). However, the issue of substance abuse, particularly abuse of alcohol, in individuals of Hispanic origin living in the United States is very complicated, is most likely not fully addressed, and deserves special considerations. The outcome for treatment for an alcohol use disorder should not vary substantially according to an individual’s ethnic background when all of these considerations are taken into account. Moreover, NIDA specifically states that successful treatment for any substance use disorder follows an overall blueprint that has been shown to be effective by research studies, but that has the flexibility to be personalized for the specific needs of the individual.

hispanic alcohol

All analyses also account for cluster sampling and the use of stratified sample selection [28]. Institutional Review Boards at all institutions (i.e., University of North Carolina, University of Miami, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Northwestern University, and San Diego State University) reviewed and approved the research. Thus, the data indicates that there are only slight differences in the percentages of individuals of Hispanic origin and non-Hispanic origin who need treatment for substance use disorders, get treatment for substance use disorders, and do not get treatment for substance use disorders.

It’s also important to note that substance use varies across heritage groups and locations. When data is reported, or studies are referenced, terminology from the original data source is used. While the barriers mentioned above may explain some of the disparity, 2007 research suggests a cultural mismatch between clinicians and clients may be at work as well. Some evidence indicates a clash in values, beliefs, and practices between Latinx cultural traditions and how treatment programs are structured. Yet, drug withdrawal symptoms treatment and management 94.8% of those ages 12 and older who were classified as needing SUD treatment in a specialty facility like a hospital, mental health center, or an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation facility didn’t receive such specialty care. While some may believe that substance use disorders (SUDs) impact those living with the condition in similar ways, the truth is that due to racial and ethnic disparities, historically marginalized communities may experience SUDs and access to treatment quite differently.

Correlates of alcohol use and risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD)

Graph of the interaction of family history of alcohol use and positive alcohol outcome expectancies. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to assess odds of alcohol use (former and current versus never (reference)) and alcohol use disorder risk (low and at-risk versus no risk (reference)). Alcohol use severity was measured with the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), which has been validated in Spanish (Babor et al., 2001).

hispanic alcohol

“Cultural competence can mean [language], but significant portions of the Latinx community in the United States call English their first language. It doesn’t necessarily mean linguistics, although linguistics are really important, but also the understanding of cultural and family values,” says Vakharia. For treatment to be successful, clinicians and program developers may benefit from developing programs in accordance with family-oriented cultural and religious values. The ability to access treatment can depend largely on where you live and how many programs, if any, are in your immediate area. Since accessing treatment for substance use intersects with issues of infrastructure and health equity, it would help if policymakers and communities began expanding coverage geographically. It’s important to emphasize the Latinx community comprises numerous diverse subgroups and is not a monolith.

Descriptive analyses

Differences in drinking patterns have been found to vastly differ by national origin (Vaeth et al., 2012). Despite recognition of the cultural differences that exist between distinct Latino national groups, most previous research on alcohol use among Latino immigrants has been conducted exclusively with Mexican immigrant populations (Borges et al., 2011; Worby & Organista, 2013). Fewer studies have examined alcohol use patterns among a diverse sample of Cuban, South American, and Central American immigrants (Sanchez et al., 2014). With increases in immigration from South and Central America (Noe-Bustamante, 2019), these national groups are becoming more representative of the overall Latino immigrant population in the US. These subgroup differences in alcohol use among Latinos, in addition to the limited existing research on Latinos immigrating to the US from a variety of Latin American regions including Cuba, and South and Central American, underscores the need for such research. Over half (58%) were women, 40% had greater than a high school education, 23% were U.S. born (including mainland and U.S. territories), 25% preferred English as their first language, 50% were working either full or part-time, and 49% were married or living with a partner.

  1. According to a joint effort produced by SAMHSA and the Centers for Substance Abuse Treatment, it should include some specific considerations.
  2. Differences in drinking patterns have been found to vastly differ by national origin (Vaeth et al., 2012).
  3. Some evidence indicates a clash in values, beliefs, and practices between Latinx cultural traditions and how treatment programs are structured.
  4. The AUDIT consists of 10 self-reported items with varied response choices on a Likert-type scale ranging from 0 to 4.
  5. Thus, the data indicates that there are only slight differences in the percentages of individuals of Hispanic origin and non-Hispanic origin who need treatment for substance use disorders, get treatment for substance use disorders, and do not get treatment for substance use disorders.
  6. One limitation of this study is the cross-sectional design which does not allow for the exploration of the directionality of the associations among SES, acculturation, gender, and alcohol use.

Almost 30% were former drinkers (33%women, 27%men), and 52% were current drinkers (41%women, 63%men). Overall, 26% had no risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD) (39%women, 14%men), 65% were low risk for AUD (56%women, 74%men), and 9% were at-risk for AUD (5%women, 12.2%men). One limitation of this study is the cross-sectional design which does not allow for the exploration of the directionality of the associations among SES, acculturation, gender, and alcohol use. Additionally, this study is limited to four major metropolitan cities in the United States and does not include rural Hispanics/Latinos. One of the strengths of the current study is the probability-based sampling which allows for the estimation of prevalence in the target population in the four communities (Bronx, Chicago, Miami, and San Diego).

What to Know About Substance Use and the Latinx Community

However, several global studies have shown a clear association between negative alcohol-related health outcomes, such as alcohol-related mortality and socioeconomic deprivation[19–21]. Thus, while at-risk levels may not vary by SES, when considering the negative effects, the relationship with SES is strengthened making low-SES individual much alcohol and acute ischemic stroke onset more at risk. One study has shown that low-SES Latinos, specifically of Mexican-origin, in the United States may be at disproportionate risk of harmful drinking patterns pervasive in their country of origin [22]. Given that Hispanics/Latinos are more likely to experience SES disparities in the United States [23], more research is needed.

Still, the scientists acknowledged that their study had limitations and more research is needed. Learn up-to-date facts and statistics on alcohol consumption and its impact in the United States and globally. Explore topics related to alcohol misuse and treatment, underage drinking, the effects of alcohol on the human body, and more. Briefly, a stratified two-stage area probability sample of household addresses was selected in each of the four field centers. The first sampling stage randomly selected census block groups with stratification based on Hispanic/Latino concentration and proportion of high/low socio-economic status. The second sampling stage randomly selected households, with stratification, from U.S.

Self-reported past-month use of alcohol in Hispanic adolescents (15.8%) was generally consistent with the national average of past-month alcohol use for individuals between the ages of 12 and 17 (16%). Social workers play alcohol consumption can be a double-edged sword for chronic kidney disease patients pmc a pivotal role in recovery as they are often the primary healthcare professional who serves people with SUDs. Research from 2013 found that 71% to 87% of social workers reported working with people facing the condition.

These four communities are diverse and provide adequate representation for comparing the different Hispanic/Latino heritage groups. All other reported values (means and prevalence rates) were weighted to account for the disproportionate selection of the sample and to at least partially adjust for any bias effects due to differential nonresponse in the selected sample at the household and person levels. The adjusted weights were also trimmed to limit precision losses due to the variability of the adjusted weights, and calibrated to the 2010 U.S. Census characteristics by age, sex and Hispanic background in each field center’s target population.

These results are consistent with findings from a comprehensive review of 32 studies focused on acculturation and alcohol use among Latinos [15]. In this study Zemore (2007) reports that among all studies reviewed, there was a consistent association between higher acculturation and higher odds of drinking among women. Future research in this sample is needed to examine the mechanism by which acculturation leads to alcohol consumption among diverse Latinas in the U.S. One plausible explanation is the relationship of acculturative stress and alcohol use examined in other studies [32]. To our knowledge, the HCHS/SOL study is the largest contemporary study to examine alcohol use and contributing factors among diverse Hispanic/Latino heritage groups.

Given these mixed findings and the rapid growth and diversity of Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S., more current research is needed to examine the relationship between various social factors and drinking patterns in this population. Hispanics/Latinos include a diverse array of heritage groups, socioeconomic statuses, and degrees of acculturation (i.e., generational status, years living in the US, and language use preferences). Thus, inclusion of these data is essential to better understand Hispanic/Latino population’s risk factors for at-risk alcohol consumption. Levels of acculturation could also greatly influence alcohol use among this population (Castañeda et al., 2019; Zemore, 2007). Acculturation is a complex process in which a cultural exchange happens where individuals adopt practices and values of a host country while also retaining their own culture (Schwartz et al., 2010). Schwartz et al., proposed a multidimensional perspective on acculturation emphasizing domains of cultural practices, values, and identification of both the receiving community and heritage culture (Schwartz et al., 2010).

Substance Use and the Hispanic Latino Population: What to Do?

hispanic alcohol

The AUDIT consists of 10 self-reported items with varied response choices on a Likert-type scale ranging from 0 to 4. Summed scores range from 0 to 40 with higher scores indicating higher alcohol use severity. A 2014 study found a relationship between substance use and discrimination among people from the Latinx community. While researchers observed some differences with regard to gender, whether people were born within or outside the United States, and ethnic subgroups, they nonetheless concluded that discrimination affected the health and well-being of all members of the Latinx community. For instance, research from 2015 indicates that Mexican Americans reported higher rates of alcohol use disorder, whereas Puerto Ricans were more likely to report illegal drug use.

When looking at those over the age of 18, the prevalence was even higher, with 13.5%. To transform treatment outcomes for the Latinx community, approaching care with a sociocultural lens may help. If you or someone you love is facing an SUD, consider reaching out to a trusted healthcare professional for an evaluation and to explore your treatment options.

Find up-to-date statistics on lifetime drinking, past-year drinking, past-month drinking, binge drinking, heavy alcohol use, and high-intensity drinking. Please include what you were doing when this page came up and the Cloudflare Ray ID found at the bottom of this page. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. If you identify as Latinx and are in recovery and would like to be part of training healthcare professionals in providing competent care, consider checking out a training to become a peer recovery coach.

CETPA, a Georgia-based nonprofit that provides behavioral health services to the Latinx community, created a media campaign in Spanish produced in partnership with local Spanish TV stations that educated the local community on opioid use disorder. Bellevue Hospital in New York City, an addiction treatment clinic, provides holistic care by connecting clients to community organizations that assist with overall stability. Research from 2021 supports the idea that family-oriented treatment may help improve treatment outcomes, especially for young people with substance use. “We know that lots of people live in rural and suburban communities across the country, where public transportation infrastructure is basically nonexistent. That’s not even including methadone clinics, of which many people do not even have a methadone clinic in their county,” Vakharia says. Though research and awareness about mental health and substance use in the Latinx community is increasing, more still needs to be done.

hispanic alcohol

Another common trope of many treatment programs is “you can’t help people if you’re not helping yourself,” an idea that isn’t quite compatible with someone who, for example, may be supporting their family financially. The common suggestion to reduce time with loved ones who use drugs may not be compatible with Latinx people who prioritize tight family and community bonds. Many Western approaches to treating substance use emphasize an individual approach to treatment. Common messaging includes the notion that reducing time with other people who use will reduce the likelihood of use. The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that 12.7% of Hispanic or Latinx people ages 12 and older, or 6.2 million people, had a substance use disorder (SUD).

Still, the scientists acknowledged that their study had limitations and more research is needed. Learn up-to-date facts and statistics on alcohol consumption and its impact in the United States and globally. Explore topics related to alcohol misuse and treatment, underage drinking, the effects of alcohol on the human body, and more. Briefly, a stratified two-stage area probability sample of household addresses was selected in each of the four field centers. The first sampling stage randomly selected census block groups with stratification based on Hispanic/Latino concentration and proportion of high/low socio-economic status. The second sampling stage randomly selected households, with stratification, from U.S.

Correlates of alcohol use and risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD)

These results are consistent with findings from a comprehensive review of 32 studies focused on acculturation and alcohol use among Latinos [15]. In this study Zemore (2007) reports that among all studies reviewed, there was a consistent association between higher acculturation and higher odds of drinking among women. Future research in this sample is needed to examine the mechanism by which acculturation leads to alcohol consumption among diverse Latinas in the U.S. One plausible explanation is the relationship of acculturative stress and alcohol use examined in other studies [32]. To our knowledge, the HCHS/SOL study is the largest contemporary study to examine alcohol use and contributing factors among diverse Hispanic/Latino heritage groups.

  1. According to a 2019 report of the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress, Hispanic workers earn 74% of what the typical white worker earns.
  2. Summed scores range from 0 to 40 with higher scores indicating higher alcohol use severity.
  3. One plausible explanation is the relationship of acculturative stress and alcohol use examined in other studies [32].
  4. Given the growing numbers of Mexican background individuals in the US, more research is needed to further examine factors that may contribute to at-risk alcohol use among this group.
  5. Research from 2013 found that 71% to 87% of social workers reported working with people facing the condition.

Below are three examples of interventions healthcare professionals may consider implementing to reduce barriers to care and improve treatment outcomes for the Latinx community facing SUD. Since social work is a predominantly white profession, Latinx people seeking treatment for substance use are more than likely to encounter a white social worker who may not understand their unique needs. Some levels of care for treating substance use disorder and addictions involve inpatient programs that can last for 14, 28, or even 90 days.

What would it look like to reduce barriers to treatment?

Expanding on this study primary focus can lead to the development of more cultural relevant effective evidence-based prevention and treatment programs targeting Latino immigrants with a presenting alcohol misuse or dependency diagnosis. The long-term outcome of such a new generation of alcohol use prevention and treatment programs will reduce the prevalence of problematic alcohol use behavior which is the most pressing substance abuse problem confronting Latino immigrants nationwide. The relationship between acculturation and alcohol use among Hispanics/Latinos has been examined extensively [11, 15]. In this study, women with greater acculturation were more likely to be current drinkers and at higher risk for alcohol use disorders.

Cultural practices include items such as language use, cultural customs, and social affiliations. In terms of identity, ethnic identification is the extent to which an individual endorses their ethnic group. With regard to US immigration, there is also Americanism or the extent to which an individual is attached to the US. Though each domain can have an influence of substance use, the retention of Hispanic cultural practices is considered protective against substance use including alcohol use (Schwartz et al., 2011). However, the influence of these cultural factors on alcohol use among Latino immigrants with a family history of alcohol use is largely unknown. These study results provide the framework for more in-depth exploration regarding the influences that a family history of alcohol use, alcohol outcome expectancies, and acculturation have on the alcohol use among Latino immigrants from Cuba, South and Central America.

hispanic alcohol

Many view culturally competent care as simply providing interpreters or merely hiring bilingual staff. “If you are the breadwinner in your family, [you may think to yourself] ‘I will sacrifice my addiction treatment to pay the bills at home,’” Vakharia says. “Familismo” is a term used in Latinx culture that underlines the importance of family, a concept that treatment interventions new genetic study confirms that alcohol is a direct cause of cancer nuffield department of population health may benefit from adopting. Here are some ways Vakharia suggests treatment can be overhauled to more adequately respond to the needs of the Latinx community on a systemic level, with societal and political support. According to a 2019 report of the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress, Hispanic workers earn 74% of what the typical white worker earns.

Discover the impact alcohol has on children living with a parent or caregiver with alcohol use disorder. Find out how many people have alcohol use disorder in the United States across age groups and demographics. Explore how many people ages 18 to 25 engage in alcohol misuse in the United States and the impact it has. Learn how many people ages 12 to 20 engage in underage alcohol misuse in the United States and the impact it has. Even as the medical community and society as a whole work to reimagine what treatment for substance use disorder looks like for the Latinx community, know that help is available and healing is possible.

The overall treatment program for an alcohol use disorder as specified by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) would not vary substantially. According to a joint effort produced by SAMHSA and the Centers for Substance Abuse Treatment, it should include some specific considerations. Limitations for the current study should be taken into account when interpreting the results. However, it has been shown to be the best approach to find hidden populations of immigrants particularly undocumented immigrants. Finally, as with any cohort study, there is a possibility for selection bias from attrition. However, the RLIS has an excellent retention rate and selection bias due to loss to follow up is not likely to effect the sample.

Special Treatment Concerns

Results from this study show that prevalence and patterns of alcohol use vary among Hispanics/Latinos of diverse heritage, as well as by sex. Given the growing numbers of Mexican background individuals in the US, more research is needed to further examine factors that may contribute to at-risk alcohol use among this group. Further, more research is needed to examine acculturation levels and potential mediators (e.g., acculturative alcohol use disorder and depressive disorders pmc stress) and at-risk drinking for Hispanic/Latina women. Overall, these findings underlie the importance of tailoring research and intervention programs to examine socio-economic and sex-specific factors contributing to alcohol use among Hispanics/Latinos. The relationship between at-risk alcohol use and socio-economic status (SES) is unclear, whereby risk levels may be similar between low and high SES individuals.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Plus, Hispanic households are 1.7 times as likely to live in poverty than white households. Since it can be stressful when a person or group is treated differently than other groups of people, individuals belonging 15+ pro tips on how to pass a marijuana drug test asap to marginalized groups may respond to discrimination with potentially harmful coping mechanisms such as substance use. Untreated mental health conditions are often cited as one possible root of substance use.

Tailor substance use-related public health prevention messages

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that 28.9 million people were uninsured in the United States in 2019 and that Hispanic people were disproportionately impacted. In fact, Hispanic individuals were found to be over 2.5 times more likely to be uninsured than their white counterparts — or 19.1% compared with 7.1%. The United States Census Bureau estimates that 18.5% of the U.S. population is Hispanic or Latinx — more than 61 million people. Plus, the 2020 NSDUH reports that 18.4% of people with Hispanic or Latinx backgrounds were living with a mental health condition (other than SUD) in 2020. Discover how many people with alcohol use disorder in the United States receive treatment across age groups and demographics. Characteristics of Latino Immigrants with or without a family history of alcohol use at baseline.

Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health Learn the facts

effects of alcohol on the body

Listen to relatives, friends or co-workers when they ask you to examine your drinking habits or to seek help. Consider talking with someone who has had a problem with drinking but has stopped. Alcohol consumption by an expectant mother may cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and pre-term birth complications. Alcoholics Anonymous is available almost everywhere and provides a place to openly and nonjudgmentally discuss alcohol issues with others who have alcohol use disorder. Long-term alcohol use can change your brain’s wiring in much more significant ways. Ways that your standard hangover cures won’t even begin to touch.

effects of alcohol on the body

Like a clog in a drain, those thickened fluids can jam up your ducts. That can lead to pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. Your liver detoxifies and removes alcohol from your blood through a process known as oxidation. When your liver finishes that process, alcohol gets turned into water and carbon dioxide.

Alcohol use disorder is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol or continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems. This disorder also involves having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking. Alcohol use disorder includes a level of drinking that’s sometimes called alcoholism. Even drinking a little too much (binge drinking) on occasion can set off a chain reaction that affects your well-being. Lowered inhibitions can lead to poor choices with lasting repercussions — like the end of a relationship, an accident or legal woes. Each of those consequences can cause turmoil that can negatively affect your long-term emotional health.

Tolerance and dependence can both happen as symptoms of alcohol use disorder, a mental health condition previously referred to as alcoholism, that happens when your body becomes dependent on alcohol. This condition can be mild, moderate, can labs detect synthetic urine in 2024 or severe, depending on the number of symptoms you have. The connection between alcohol consumption and your digestive system might not seem immediately clear. The side effects often only appear after the damage has happened.

Alcohol throws off the normal speed that food moves through them. That’s why hard drinking can lead to diarrhea, which can turn into a long-term problem. It also makes heartburn more likely because it relaxes the muscle that keeps acid out of your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth and stomach. A weakened immune system has a harder time protecting you from germs and viruses.

Digestive system

Or it might damage the nerves and tiny hairs in your inner ear that help you hear. However it happens, drinking means you need a sound to be louder so you can hear it. Drinking heavily for a long time has been linked to hearing loss. Normally, this organ makes insulin and other chemicals that help your intestines break down food.

But heavy drinking carries a much higher risk even for those without other health concerns. Be sure to ask your healthcare professional about what’s right for your health and safety. Binge drinking is behavior that raises blood alcohol levels to 0.08%. That usually means four or more drinks within two hours for women and five or more drinks within two hours for men.