Alcohol and substance abuse proliferating in the US-Mexico border

The United States of America shares its southern border with Mexico, which spans across 2,000 miles and is inhabited by more than 7 million Mexican-American ethnic population. This particular belt has been of great interest to numerous researchers because this is the region where multiple risk factors, pertaining to alcoholism and related problems exist. Interestingly, the population on both sides of the border is young because of the high fertility rates and continuous migration of people (individuals migrating from Mexico to the US are mostly young and healthy).  

Moreover, in comparison to other parts of America, the people residing near the border area have a higher rate of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, along with a significantly higher risk of various negative health outcomes, such as liver disorders, diabetes, tuberculosis and hepatitis-A. This belt is also affected differentially by the crime related to illegal trafficking of drugs.

Factors promoting drinking culture in US-Mexico border region

Studies have shown that drinking in Mexico is associated with greater advantages than drinking in the U.S., especially for young adults. While in Mexico, a person can indulge in excessive quantities of alcohol on a single occasion, resulting in higher rates of alcohol abuse and dependence, and increased alcohol-related social problems.

Some of the factors that contribute to the thriving drinking culture across the U.S.-Mexico border are:

  • The legal drinking age for consuming alcohol is 18 in Mexico while it is 21 in the U.S., therefore, younger crowd from America are highly vulnerable to cross the border to consume alcohol.
  • Mexican bars offer comparatively cheap alcohol and these are located at a stone’s throw from the border, therefore, thousands of young U.S. citizens frequent these bars to enjoy cheap alcohol.
  • For people residing across the U.S. side of the border, it is much easier to temporarily cross into Mexico, which, in turn, contributes to excessive infiltration of young U.S. citizens into Mexico side and indulge in alcohol. This results in a very high rate of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems across the U.S. side of the border.
  • Youth residing in the US-Mexico border indulges in binge drinking and frequent alcohol consumption because most of them are frequent bar visitors. Drinking in a bar allows them to try a variety of drinks and also indulge in alcohol abuse.

Road to recovery

Americans living in close proximity to the US-Mexico border are susceptible to alcohol abuse and related disorders. The risk is especially high among the young individuals because of their high attendance in the bars, whether at the U.S. side or Mexico side of the border. A significantly high rate of alcohol use disorders (AUD) is prevalent in the border area, as compared to non-border area, in the U.S. or Mexico.

Young adults in America are increasingly involved in alcohol abuse stemming from factors such as easy and low-cost availability of liquor, marketing tactics of the local bars, lower and under-enforced legal drinking age in Mexico and high availability of drugs. Policies and initiative to shut down the bars earlier, community-level campaigns to disseminate extensive education about alcohol-related disorders among the youth, and well-informed parenting can possibly reduce the elevated drinking patterns in the border region of both the sides.

If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol and is looking for alcohol addiction treatment centers in the U.S., it is recommended to contact the Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline for assistance and guidance. Please feel free to contact us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-281-3014 or chat online with our experts to know about alcohol addiction treatment centers in your area.