A recent study showed that there is a great difference in teen substance abuse on the racial and ethnic level. The study showed that most likely race to drink; smoke and use drugs are Hispanic teens. The study conducted in California also revealed that the least likely to fall for substance abuse were Asian teens.
The cause of this new study was the lack of faith in the current intervention methods, and as the study showed they were right. There are specific reasons behind each group that made them turn to drugs and alcohol at such an early age, so the preliminary results show that each state will have to create a new intervention method for certain age groups and then even divide it by areas and maybe even ethnicity, as each ethnic group has their own type of problems to deal with. This study was a part of a larger project which was funded by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism led by Dr. Elizabeth D’Amico.
In this study participated somewhat over 5,500 students and over 20% were found to drink alcohol, 10% smoke and 7% used marijuana. These were the overall results, but when broken down on the ethnic level the results were as follows:
- 25% of Hispanic population drinks alcohol,
- 21% of African Americans consumed alcohol
- 18% of Caucasians consumed alcohol
- Less than 10% of Asian teens drinks alcohol
The social issues are clearly one of the main factors in this, that is nothing new, but the approach and individual reasons are different with both ethnicity and living area. As the study showed, Hispanic teenagers showed less confidence in warding off peer pressure when it comes to substance abuse. What was surprising in this study is that the Hispanic group showed to have different beliefs regarding the negative effects of various substances like drugs, tobacco and alcohol.
On the other hand Asian teens mostly stated that they look up to their peers and siblings on this account and that they also respect the advice of their families. As the study came to an end most thought that each of the races should be approached differently on this issue, but the institute clearly stated that we should not take that approach, but rather widen the basic approach we have for each of the ethnic groups and age groups.
At the end this study was compared with other findings regarding age groups, gender and family structure and the results were basically the same, Hispanic teens had the highest percentage of substance abuse while Asian teens had the lowest percentage. According to the institute this study will continue on a larger scale. We can only hope that their research leads to better understanding of substance abuse problem as well as some solution.