The effect of migration to the United States on substance use disorders among returned Mexican migrants and families of migrants

Guilherme Borges, Maria Elena Medina-Mora, Joshua Breslau, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. We examined the association between substance use disorders and migration to the United States in a nationally representative sample of the Mexican population. Methods. We used the World Mental Health version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview to conduct structured, computer-assisted, face-to-face interviews with a cross-sectional sample of household residents aged 18 to 65 years who lived in Mexico in cities with a population of at least 2500 people in 2001 and 2002. The response rate was 76.6%, with 5826 respondents interviewed. Results. Respondents who had migrated to the United States and respondents who had family members who migrated in the United States were more likely to have used alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine at least once in their lifetime; to develop a substance use disorder; and to have a current (in the past 12 months) substance use disorder than were other Mexicans. Conclusions. International migration appears to play a large role in transforming substance use norms and pathology in Mexico. Future studies should examine how networks extending over international boundaries influence substance use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1847-1851
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume97
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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