UTSA researcher examines drug overdose mortality in the Hispanic community

November 18, 2020

(November 18, 2020) -- UTSA researcher Manuel Cano, assistant professor in the Department of Social Work in the UTSA College for Health, Community and Policy is shedding light to understand the topic of drug overdose deaths in the Hispanic community.

In the article "Drug Overdose Deaths Among US Hispanics: Trends (2000-2017) and Recent Patterns" published in "Substance Use & Misuse" Cano used national death certificate data (data recording all deaths of U.S. residents) to examine drug overdose mortality in different Hispanic subgroups, based on heritage, place of birth and gender.

Cano explains, "In the context of the current opioid crisis, drug overdose in the media is often presented as a problem affecting white individuals. However, this tragedy affects all racial/ethnic groups and no racial/ethnic group should be overlooked or left behind in the national response. Opioids are killing a lot of people but so are other drugs affecting different groups. There is substantial variation considering race and ethnicity," Cano said.

The national data on drug overdose mortality shows lower rates of drug overdose deaths in Hispanics compared to Non-Hispanic Whites or Blacks. However, the study revealed people of Puerto Rican heritage have a higher rate of drug overdose mortality compared to Non-Hispanic Whites or Blacks.

Among those of Puerto Rican heritage, those born in Puerto Rico - many of whom may speak Spanish as a first language- were overrepresented in drug overdose deaths, suggesting that culturally-tailored and accessible services in Spanish are necessary for this group. In contrast, the majority of individuals of Mexican-heritage who died of drug overdose were born in the U.S.

"The more we understand which subgroups are most affected, the more we can provide culturally-appropriate services that better address their needs. Drug overdose is preventable," Cano added.

Cano concluded, "Hispanic cultures have many rich cultural values and strengths that can be protective factors against overdose, for example, the value of the family and respect."
-end-
UTSA is one of 14 U.S. universities certified by Excelencia in Education with the prestigious Seal of Excelencia, a comprehensive certification recognizing the university's commitment and ability to accelerate Latino student success.

University of Texas at San Antonio

Related Drug Overdose Articles from Brightsurf:

Illicit fentanyl, stimulants found in majority of overdose deaths in BC
Nonprescribed fentanyl and stimulants were the primary contributors to overdose mortality, while few people had prescribed opioids in their systems, according to new toxicology research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.200191.

Study suggests drug overdose linked to PTSD
Drug overdoses are psychologically traumatic events that can lead to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Easy to overdose on paracetamol if you're selenium deficient, says research
A lack of the mineral selenium in the diet puts people at risk of paracetamol overdose, even when the painkiller is taken at levels claimed to be safe on the packaging, according to collaborative research emerging from the University of Bath and Southwest University in China.

Properly-equipped laypersons can potentially reverse opioid overdose mortality
After tracking a cohort of community members equipped with naloxone and a smartphone application for more than a year, researchers showed that laypersons can effectively signal and respond to overdose incident to administer nasal naloxone in advance of emergency medical service (EMS) arrival.

Nordic countries struggle with a severe drug overdose problem
Despite the fact that the Nordic countries are often seen as ideal in practically every global ranking of quality of life and social equality, the number of drug-related deaths in these countries are among the highest in Europe.

Follow-up treatments after opioid overdose rare among insured patients
The majority of commercially insured patients who visited the emergency department (ED) for an opioid overdose didn't receive the timely follow-up care known to help prevent a future overdose or death.

Emergency drug overdose visits associated with increased risk for later suicide
A new study finds patients who visited the emergency department for an opioid overdose are 100 times more likely to die by drug overdose in the year after being discharged and 18 times more likely to die by suicide relative to the general population.

Drug overdose epidemic is transmitted from old to young, study shows
The generation a person was born into -- Silent Generation, Baby Boomer, Generation X or Millennial -- strongly predicts how likely they are to die from a drug overdose, and at what age.

Prescribing an overdose: A chapter in the opioid epidemic
Research indicates that widespread opioid overprescribing contributed to the opioid epidemic.

Overdose risk among youth with family members prescribed opioids
In this study of 72,000 adolescents and young adults, higher risk of youth overdose was associated with exposure to family members with opioid prescriptions and young people's own opioid prescriptions.

Read More: Drug Overdose News and Drug Overdose Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.