According to the CDC, illicit drug use, including opioid misuse, often leads to adverse health consequences such as increased risk of HIV, hepatitis B and C, sexually transmitted disease and endocarditis. Alarmingly, in 2016, 26 percent of the new HIV diagnoses in the US were from the Hispanic/Latino population. Many of these consequences are associated with Hispanics/Latinos being unable to access bilingual treatment programs, fear of speaking to government agencies, and lack of health care coverage. Understanding the barriers that prevent Hispanics/Latinos from participating in treatment is key to decreasing the misuse of substances and related comorbid conditions.
A culturally and linguistically competent workforce is central to improving the behavioral health outcomes for Hispanic/Latino populations. SAMHSA’s National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED) provides training and resources for community-based organizations like the Puerto Rican Organization for Community Education and Economic Development, Inc. (PROCEED) to expand their capacity to provide counseling and treatment services for Hispanic/Latino populations. PROCEED’s participation in NNEDLearn 2019 increased their ability to engage Hispanic/Latino youth. As SAMHSA takes steps to ensure that culturally and linguistically appropriate prevention and treatment services for individuals with mental and substance use disorders are available, Hispanic Heritage month is a reminder that we all have a role in preventing alcohol and other drug misuse for vulnerable populations and ensuring the availability of recovery support services.
Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit (English)
Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit (Spanish)