More Substance Abuse by Immigrant Children

ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 4 (UPI) — Children of Hispanic-American adults born outside the United States have much higher levels than their parents of substance abuse, health officials say.

A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds 37.2 percent of Hispanic-Americans who immigrated to the United States say they participated in binge drinking during the past month while past-month binge drinking among U.S. born Hispanic-American adults is 57.7 percent.

The past-month illicit drug use level among U.S. born Hispanic-American adults was 11.3 percent compared with past-month illicit drug use by foreign born Hispanic-Americans at 3 percent.

Hispanic adults in the United States have lower levels of current alcohol use — 46.1 percent — than the national average at 55.2 percent, health officials say.

The study finds Hispanic adults have lower levels of current illicit drug use — 6.6 percent — than the national average of 7.9 percent, but binge drinking is a bit higher for Hispanics at 26.3 percent compared to the national average of 24.5 percent.

The study demonstrates different rates of substance use among various Hispanic-American populations. For example, Spanish-American adults have a level of past-month alcohol use above the national average and 50 percent higher than the rate for Dominican-American adults.

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