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University of Texas at Austin

Border Drug Problems and Treatment Utilization

Principal Investigators:  Richard T. Spence, Ph.D. and Lynn Wallisch, Ph.D.
Sponsor: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health
Duration: 10/1/01-9/30/05

The objective of this study is to improve knowledge and understanding of disparities in drug use and related attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors concerning drug use and drug treatment utilization among Hispanic and non-Hispanic populations living in proximity to the U.S./Mexico border. This is a geographic area in which the mainstream culture is heavily bicultural, a pattern that is expected to typify an increasingly large segment of the West and Southwestern regions of the United States during the next decade. Knowledge gained in this study is expected to benefit service planners who would anticipate need for current and future service strategies to better respond to the problems and needs of Hispanic and bicultural populations. Specific aims are:

  1. to describe the prevalence of substance use, abuse, and dependence, and the demographic and social correlates of use among households living on the border, and to measure the changes in prevalence that have occurred during the past 6 years since a similar study was done;
  2. to investigate the role of acculturation in explaining differences in substance use in the Hispanic border community; and
  3. to determine border residents' attitudes and behaviors related to the utilization of treatment services and the correlates of these attitudes and behaviors.

The findings are based on in-person interviews carried out with a sample of 1200 adults living in households: 400 each from the El Paso metropolitan area, the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan area, and colonias (rural, unincorporated communities characterized by lack of basic public services) located in Hidalgo and Cameron counties. The study is currently in the analysis phase.

Products:

Behavioral Health Training Module for “Promotoras” 

Wallisch, L. S. and Spence, R. T. (2006). Alcohol and drug use, abuse and dependence in urban areas and colonias of the Texas-Mexico border. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 28(2): 286-307, May 2006. Read the abstract

Spence, R. and Wallisch, L.  Substance Use Patterns Among Mexican-Americans by Generation in the US. Poster presented at the 67 th Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Orlando, FL, June 2005. View the Poster

Spence, R. and Wallisch, L. Substance Use and Misuse in Texas Colonias.  Poster presented at the 66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, San Juan Puerto Rico June 12-17, 2004. View the poster.

Spence, R. and Wallisch, L. Variability in Drug Use and Intervention. Services Utilization Across Rural Communities. Presentation at the NIDA conference on Drug Abuse Research in Rural Communities: Current Knowledge and Future Directions, Bethesda MD December 7-8, 2004. Read the abstract.

Wallisch, L. Methamphetamine and Other Drug Use on the Texas-Mexico Border and in Colonias. Presentation at the Border Epidemiology WorkGroup meeting, Albuquerque, NM, September 16-17, 2004.

Read the abstract.

Wallisch, L. and Spence, R. Substance Use and Treatment Seeking in Rural and Urban Areas of the Texas-Mexico Border. Poster presented at the Addiction Health Services Research Conference, Philadelphia PA October 6-8, 2004. Read the abstract.

Wallisch, L. and Spence, R. Drug Use Patterns and Problems on the Texas-Mexico Border. Poster presented at the 66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, San Juan Puerto Rico, June 12-17, 2004. View the poster.

Wallisch, L. and Spence, R. Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Comorbidity on the Texas-Mexico Border. Poster at the 2005 Annual Conference of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Orlando, Florida. View the poster.

Maxwell, J. C., Cravioto, P., Galvan, F., Cortes, M., Wallisch, L, Spence, R., (2006). Drug use and risk of HIV/AIDS on the Mexico-U.S. Border: A comparison of treatment admissions in both countries. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 82 (Suppl. 1), S85-S93. Read the abstract.

Maxwell, J.C., Cravioto, P.,  Galvan, F., Cortes, M. (2005) Patterns of Drug Use on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Poster at the 2005 Annual Conference of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Orlando, Florida. View the poster.

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