Prevalence of substance use disorders among Latinos in the United States: An empirical review update.

In 2001, the Department of Health and Human Services released the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity. This landmark report identified gaps in addressing the mental health needs of underserved populations and highlighted Latinos with substance use disorders as a vulnerable population. The current article provides readers with an update on the characteristics of Latinos in the United States and a review of the epidemiological research conducted since 2001 that has advanced our knowledge of the prevalence of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental illness among Latinos. Four epidemiological surveys are reviewed: the National Comorbidity Survey—Replication, the National Latino and Asian American Study, the Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Survey, and the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Compared with 15 years ago, these studies reveal: (a) Latinos’ prevalence rate of substance use disorders continues to be equal to or less than that of Whites; (b) Latino men continue to have higher prevalence rates of alcohol and drug use disorders compared with Latina women; and (c) nativity remains a strong predictor of alcohol and drug use disorders, with U.S.-born Latinos demonstrating higher rates of SUDs. On the whole, results from the 2001 report accurately reflect the current state of alcohol and drug use disorders among Latinos in the United States. We recommend future national surveys include measurement of sociocultural predictors beyond nativity and gender and consider changes in immigration patterns and language use to better understand risk and protective factors among this vulnerable population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)