Race Differences in the Association Between Binge Drinking and Treatment Among First-Time Justice-System-Impacted Youth

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AIMS: We aim to determine whether there are racial/ethnic differences in the association between binge drinking frequency and community-based alcohol treatment among justice-system-impacted adolescents and young adults. METHODS: We examined whether race/ethnicity moderated the relation between binge drinking and youths' likelihood of receiving alcohol treatment. The sample included 1216 male, first-time-arrested youth from the Crossroads Study (2011-2018). Participants were recruited from CA, PA and LA. RESULTS: Among youth who binge drank occasionally, Black youth were less likely to receive alcohol treatment than White (b = -0.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] [-0.13, -0.04]) and Hispanic/Latino (b = -0.06, 95% CI [-0.09, -0.02]) youth. There were no differences between the White and Hispanic/Latino youth. Black youth who were frequent binge drinkers were as likely to receive alcohol treatment as White youth who binge drank significantly less often. There were no racial/ethnic differences in alcohol treatment at the highest level of binge drinking. CONCLUSION: Black youth who binge drink occasionally are less likely than White youth to receive alcohol treatment. The present findings highlight a need for efforts to mitigate racial disparities in access to or motivations to seek community-based treatment.

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Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire)

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