Substance Abuse

The risk for substance abuse varies among racial and ethnic groups and by substance. Alcohol abuse may be significantly rarer among Asian Americans, of whom 15.2% reported binge drinking in 2015.1 Rates for all other groups ranged from 23.4% for Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander adults to 28.7% for Hispanic/Latino adults.1

Illegal drug use is equally variable. In 2014, approximately 10.2% of Americans aged 12 and up reported using illicit drugs in the past month. This number was lower among Asian Americans (4.1%) and Hispanic/Latino adults (8.9%), but higher for African Americans (12.4%), and American Indians and Alaska Natives (14.9%), and Pacific Islanders or Native Hawaiians (15.6%).2

There are disparities in treatment for substance abuse; as with other behavioral health services, members of racial and ethnic minority groups are less likely than non-Hispanic Whites to receive treatment. Access to treatment, a lack of health insurance, and the cost of services may all contribute to this gap.2

Substance Abuse Resources in Spanish

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Información sobre abuso de drogas de NIDA en español (substance abuse information from NIDA in Spanish)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Información sobre abuso de alcohol de NIAAA en español (alcohol abuse information from NIAAA in Spanish)


Información sobre abuso de drogas de MedlinePlus (substance abuse information from MedlinePlus)

Substance Abuse Resources in Asian Languages


दवाई का दुरूपयोग (substance abuse information in Hindi) PDF (212.3 KB)

약물 남용 및 의존 (substance abuse information in Korean) PDF (535 KB)

物质滥用或依赖 (substance abuse information in simplified Chinese) PDF (395.5 KB)

Pag-abuso sa Paggamit ng Mga Bagay o Dependensya (substance abuse information in Tagalog) PDF (293.4 KB)

Lạm Dụng hoặc Nghiện Ngập Dược Chất (substance abuse information in Vietnamese) PDF (388.4 KB)

薬物の乱用または依存症 (substance abuse information in Japanese) PDF (528 KB)


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HealthyPeople 2020 Midcourse Review: Substance Abuse. PDF (1.7 KB)
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations.

Page updated December 28, 2021