Binge Drinking Among Male Mexican Immigrants in Rural North Carolina

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While it is clear that alcohol use among immigrants from Mexico has serious consequences, limited data exist on the correlates of this behavior for Mexican immigrants residing in rural, traditionally non-Hispanic settings. A cross-sectional survey with an outreach approach was used to target 173 male Mexican immigrants in rural eastern North Carolina. Questionnaires including demographics, pre and post immigration alcohol use, acculturation, stress, social support, and depressive symptoms were administered through oral interview by trained bilingual interpreters. Results show a higher prevalence of binge drinking in the study sample compared to rate of alcohol use by Hispanics in the United States. Relationships were identified between Pre-immigration alcohol use, lower perceived social support, socialization within one’s own cultural group, and binge drinking. These findings provide a preliminary basis in the development of interventions to address the problem of binge drinking in this population. Further exploration of the interaction between social isolation and social support is also needed.