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AARP Segunda Juventud 2009 Hispanic Addiction Study

The vast majority of Hispanics age 40+ perceive that certain addictions are a major problem in the United States, both for U.S. Hispanics age 40+ and the general 40+ population.

A March 2009 telephone survey conducted with Hispanics ages 40+ revealed that:

  • More than eight in ten respondents think that alcoholism (84%) and illegal drugs (82%) are a major problem for the 40+ population; over-eating (78%) and smoking (77%) are close behind. The same pattern is true when asked about the presence of the problem among Hispanics age 40+ in the United States, although the percentages are generally slightly lower.
  • More than a third know a friend with an addiction (38%), while about one in four (26%) knows an immediate family member with an addiction. Few identified themselves as having an addiction (5%).
  • Spanish-dominant respondents (those who use Spanish only or most of the time while communicating in their homes) perceive that addiction is a major problem in greater numbers, while English-dominant respondents are more likely to say that they know somebody who suffers from these addictions.
  • Seeking treatment or counseling is not common; only about one in five (22%) of those with an addiction get some type of treatment or counseling. Medication (30%), a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous (30%), church-based or faith-based counseling (29%), and an in-patient rehab treatment center (27%) are the top four treatment types reported by respondents. Many of those suffering from addiction do not seek any counseling or treatment mainly because they are “not interested” or they "don't think the problem is bad enough."

This national study was conducted for AARP via telephone by QSA Integrated Research Solutions. A representative sample of 500 Hispanics ages 40 and older completed interviews in early March 2009. For more information contact Matrika Chapagain at 202-434-6353. (22 pages)

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