Many children turn to illicit substances under peer pressure and stress from school. However, new research suggests that Mexican children in particular may be using drugs to cope with discrimination.
In the Phoenix area, Mexican middle school students showed a high rate of drug and alcohol use in an effort to combat stress, according to FOX News. A study recently published in the journal of Prevention Science noted that many Mexican children find difficulty fitting in with their peers.
Lead author Jennifer Kam told the news source that the findings indicated that the levels of discrimination directly impacted the amount of substances students abused as a result of triggered stress.
More than 1,100 students in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades were studied in the Phoenix area. Mexican students who were able to speak English fluently exhibited less signs of stress and drug use.
Between 2007 and 2008, one-in-five children admitted to using prescription drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Substance abuse programs for youth can provide kids with healthier alternatives to drugs and the tools to manage their stress over time.