Hazardous Drinking, Alcohol Use Disorders, and Need for Treatment Among Pacific Islander Young Adults

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© 2020 Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice. Pacific Islander (PI) young adults are suspected to bear heavy risk for hazardous drinking, alcohol use disorders (AUD), and alcohol-related harms. Yet, PIs remain among the most understudied racial groups in the United States-creating a lack of empirical data documenting their alcohol use problems and treatment needs. The present study presents the first known data on PI young adults' hazardous drinking, possible AUDs, alcohol-related harms, and treatment needs. Survey data were collected from 156 community-dwelling PI young adults (40% women, age 18-30 years) in 2 large PI communities: Los Angeles County and Northwest Arkansas. We screened participants for alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use, hazardous drinking, possible AUD, alcohol-related harms, and past-year need for mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Logistic regressions examined whether experiencing possible AUD and alcohol-related harms were associated with past-year need for treatment. PI young adults reported 78% lifetime rate of alcohol use with 56% screening positive for hazardous drinking, 49% for any possible AUD, and 40% experiencing significant alcohol-related harm (e.g., health, finances). Yet, just 25% of participants reported past-year need for SUD treatment. Although having possible AUD was not associated with perceived SUD treatment need, experiencing any alcohol-related harm associated with 4.7-13.2 times greater adjusted odds for needing treatment. Therefore, despite having low self-perceived treatment need, PI young adults experience excessive burden of hazardous drinking and alcohol-related harms. Given the profound negative social and health effects of AUDs, culturally grounded interventions should be designed to reduce PI young adults' elevated rates of hazardous drinking and alcohol-related harms.






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Subica, Andrew M, Erick Guerrero, Nia Aitaoto, Howard B Moss, Derek Iwamoto and Li-Tzy Wu (2020). Hazardous Drinking, Alcohol Use Disorders, and Need for Treatment Among Pacific Islander Young Adults. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 10.1037/ort0000456 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20744.

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Li-Tzy Wu

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Education/Training: Pre- and post-doctoral training in mental health service research, psychiatric epidemiology (NIMH T32), and addiction epidemiology (NIDA T32) from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (Maryland); Fellow of the NIH Summer Institute on the Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials.

Director: Duke Community Based Substance Use Disorder Research Program.

Research interests: COVID-19, Opioid misuse, Opioid overdose, Opioid use disorder, Opioid addiction prevention and treatment, Pain and addiction, Chronic diseases and substance use disorders, diabetes, pharmacy-based care models and services, medication treatment for opioid use disorder (MOUD), Drug overdose, Polysubstance use and disorders, cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, hallucinogens, stimulants, e-cigarette, SBIRT (substance use Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment), EHR-based research and intervention, data science, psychometric analysis (IRT), epidemiology of addictions and comorbidity, behavioral health care integration, health services research (mental health disorders, substance use disorders, chronic diseases), nosology, research design, HIV risk behavior. 

FUNDED Research projects (Principal Investigator [PI], Site PI, or Sub-award PI): 
R03: Substance use/dependence (PI).
R21: Treatment use for alcohol use disorders (PI).
R21: Inhalant use & disorders (PI).
R01: MDMA/hallucinogen use/disorders (PI).
R01: Prescription pain reliever (opioids) misuse and use disorders (PI).
R01: Substance use disorders in adolescents (PI).
R21: CTN Substance use diagnoses & treatment (PI).
R33: CTN Substance use diagnoses & treatment (PI).
R01: Evolution of Psychopathology in the Population (ECA Duke site PI).
R01: Substance use disorders and treatment use among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (PI).
UG1: SBIRT in Primary Care (NIDA, PI).
UG1: TAPS Tool, Substance use screening tool validation in primary care (NIDA, PI).
UG1: NIDA CTN Mid-Southern Node (Clinical Trials Network, PI).
UG1: EHR Data Element Study (NIDA, PI).
UG1: Buprenorphine Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration in the Management of Patients With Opioid Use Disorder (NIDA, PI).
PCORI: INSPIRE-Integrated Health Services to Reduce Opioid Use While Managing Chronic Pain (Site PI).
CDC R01: Evaluation of state-mandated acute and post-surgical pain-specific CDC opioid prescribing (Site PI).
Pilot: Measuring Opioid Use Disorders in Secondary Electronic Health Records Data (Carolinas Collaborative Grant: Duke PI).
R21: Developing a prevention model of alcohol use disorder for Pacific Islander young adults (Subaward PI, Investigator).
UG1: Subthreshold Opioid Use Disorder Prevention Trial (NIH HEAL Initiative) (NIDA supplement, CTN-0101, Investigator).
NIDA: A Pilot Study to Permit Opioid Treatment Program Physicians to Prescribe Methadone through Community Pharmacies for their Stable Methadone Patients (NIDA/FRI: Study PI).
UG1: Integrating pharmacy-based prevention and treatment of opioid and other substance use disorders: A survey of pharmacists and stakeholder (NIH HEAL Initiative, NIDA, PI).
UG1: NorthStar Node of the Clinical Trials Network (NIDA, Site PI).
R34: Intervention Development and Pilot Study to Reduce Untreated Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Opioid Use Disorders (Subaward PI, Investigator).
UG1: Optimal Policies to Improve Methadone Maintenance Adherence Longterm (OPTIMMAL Study) (NIDA, Site PI).
R01: Increasing access to opioid use disorder treatment by opening pharmacy-based medication units of opioid treatment programs (NIDA, PI)

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