Race/Hispanicity and Use of Alcohol and Illicit Drugs in the United States Construction Industry




Rosario-Rosado, Rosa V.


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Rosario-Rosado, Rosa V., M.S. Race/Hispanicity and Use of Alcohol and Illicit Drugs in the United States Construction Industry. Doctor of Public Health (Epidemiology), May 2004, 135 pp., 19 tables, bibliography, 49 Titles. This study explored the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse’s data in order to identify any difference in the patterns of substance use among different groups represented in the national construction industry. The study included male, 18 years and older, self-classified as U.S.-born non-Hispanic Whites, U.S.-born non-Hispanic African Americans, U.S.-born Hispanics or immigrant Hispanics with different lengths of stay in the U.S. (less than five years; five years to less than 10 years; and 10 or more years), that indicated working in the construction industry. Substances of interest were alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, and psychotherapeutics. Differences by race/hispanicity in substance use were found. Immigrant Hispanics living in the U.S. for less than five years were significantly (p [less than] .0001) less likely to use substances as compared to other groups. Immigrant Hispanics with five to less than 10 years and those with 10 or more years living in the U.S. were 1.096 (95% CL = 1.079 to 1.112) and 1.160 (95% CL= 1.146 to 1.175) times more likely to use any illicit drug during past year, respectively, when compared with U.S.-born Hispanics. Characteristics associated with the past year and the past month use of substances were: working for a small company, missing two or more whole days of work due to sickness or injury, and skipping three or more days of work. Findings of this study suggest that, when designing substance use and abuse prevention programs, it is not only important to take into consideration differences by race/hispanicity, but that the length of stay in the U.S. also can affect the substance use behaviors of immigrant construction workers.