Illicit and nonmedical drug use among asian americans, native hawaiians/pacific islanders, and mixed-race individuals


Journal Article

Background: The racial/ethnic composition of the United States is shifting rapidly, with non-Hispanic Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (NHs/PIs), and mixed-race individuals the fastest growing segments of the population. We determined new drug use estimates for these rising groups. Prevalences among Whites were included as a comparison. Methods: Data were from the 2005-2011 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Substance use among respondents aged ≥12 years was assessed by computer-assisted self-interviewing methods. Respondents' self-reported race/ethnicity, age, gender, household income, government assistance, county type, residential stability, major depressive episode, history of being arrested, tobacco use, and alcohol use were examined as correlates. We stratified the analysis by race/ethnicity and used logistic regression to estimate odds of drug use. Results: Prevalence of past-year marijuana use among Whites increased from 10.7% in 2005 to 11.6-11.8% in 2009-2011 (P< 0.05). There were no significant yearly changes in drug use prevalences among Asian-Americans, NHs/PIs, and mixed-race people; but use of any drug, especially marijuana, was prevalent among NHs/PIs and mixed-race people (21.2% and 23.3%, respectively, in 2011). Compared with Asian-Americans, NHs/PIs had higher odds of marijuana use, and mixed-race individuals had higher odds of using marijuana, cocaine, hallucinogens, stimulants, sedatives, and tranquilizers. Compared with Whites, mixed-race individuals had greater odds of any drug use, mainly marijuana, and NHs/PIs resembled Whites in odds of any drug use. Conclusions: Findings reveal alarmingly prevalent drug use among NHs/PIs and mixed-race people. Research on drug use is needed in these rising populations to inform prevention and treatment efforts. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wu, LT; Blazer, DG; Swartz, MS; Burchett, B; Brady, KT

Published Date

  • December 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 133 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 360 - 367

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-0046

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0376-8716

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.06.008

Citation Source

  • Scopus