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Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use Among Hispanics

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 38 Issue: 1 Dated: Winter 2008 Pages: 285-310
Jason A. Ford; Fernando I. Rivera
Date Published
26 pages
With a focus on Hispanics, this study examined racial/ethnic variation in nonmedical prescription drug use in a large national sample of adolescents and young adults in the United States.
The findings show that Hispanics were less likely to report nonmedical prescription drug use than Whites, but more likely to report such use than Blacks and Asians. In addition, there was partial support for a link between acculturation (adoption of various elements of normative American attitudes and behaviors) and an increased likelihood of nonmedical prescription drug use among Hispanics. Given the dramatic increase in the prevalence of nonmedical prescription drug use in recent years, to the point that it is now more prevalent than other forms of illicit drug use, it is important to determine whether certain racial/ethnic groups are at increased risk for such drug use. Study limitations and future research options are discussed. The study used data from the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an ongoing household survey of individuals who are 12 years old and older. The NSDUH's primary goal is to measure the prevalence and correlates of substance use in the United States. The current study limited analyses to respondents who were between 12 and 25 years old, which involved a sample size of 37,154 respondents. The dependent variable was nonmedical prescription drug use in the past year, defined as the use of a prescription drug without a prescription from a doctor solely for the feeling or experience produced by the drug. The independent variable of interest was race/ethnicity: Hispanic, White, Black, Asian, and "other." Several demographic characteristics, as well as some established correlates of nonmedical prescription drug use, were included as controls in the multivariate models. 5 tables and 80 references


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