Rising NC Drug Abuse–Latinos Adopting “American Lifestyle”?


Use of “gateway drugs” — alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana — increased at alarming rates in Charlotte-area youth between 2004 and 2006 despite prevention efforts, says a study by the nonprofit Substance Abuse Prevention Services reported by the Charlotte Observer. Alcohol use rose by 15 percent since 2004, when the last study was conducted. Marijuana use rose by 33 percent overall, with 23 percent of the students reporting having used marijuana before

The rise from 2004 levels has been pushed primarily by increases in gateway drug use by minorities, especially Latinos. “What we would imagine is that they’re being acculturated into the new community,” said Karen Simon, executive director of the substance abuse agency. “That is often why people start using substances, because they’re having a difficult time adapting to where they are. They’re also trying, a lot of them [] to adopt what they perceive as an American lifestyle.”

Link: http://www.charlotte.com/115/story/117884.html

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