For example, the study shows that alcohol was the primary substance of abuse among male Mexican-Americans admitted to treatment (40.1 percent) while methamphetamine was the primary substance of abuse among female Mexican–American treatment admissions (33.5 percent).
Among the study’s other significant findings:
- Males made up 72.5 percent of all Mexican –American admissions to substance use treatment.
- Female Mexican-American treatment admissions were more likely than their male counterparts to have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders (10.9 percent versus 6.8 percent).
- Male Mexican-American admissions were far more likely than their female counterparts to have been referred to treatment by the criminal justice system (52.8 percent versus 38.3 percent).
- Female Mexican–American admissions were more likely than their male counterparts to have been referred to treatment by community organizations (21.6 versus 2.5 percent).
The findings in this study were drawn from SAMHSA’s 2007 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) – a reporting system involving treatment facilities from across the country. The study was developed as part of the agency’s strategic initiative on data, outcomes, and quality – an effort to create an integrated data strategy that informs policy makers and service providers on the nature and scope of behavioral health issues. It is one in a series of studies designed to provide more detailed information on substance abuse patterns and treatment needs existing within a wide range of minority groups.
“Although patterns of substance abuse may vary somewhat among different groups and cultures within our nation, all segments of American society need help with this enormous public health problem,” said SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “This study and others like it help us understand the characteristics and substance use behaviors among various populations entering treatment and can be used to develop more culturally sensitive and gender specific prevention and treatment programs.”
Despite the differences noted between the genders in the study, there were a number of similarities revealed as well. For example, the majority of Mexican–American admissions of both genders used their primary substance of abuse before the age of 18 (60.7 percent for males and 56.1 percent for females).
The complete 2007 TEDS Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions report is available online at: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k10/226/226MexAd2k10.cfm
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