"Scientific Opportunities in Hispanic Drug Abuse Research," a NIDA-funded supplemental issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence published in September 2006, compiles information on drug abuse among this fast-growing and diverse population. Nine peer-reviewed articles cover topics ranging from neuroscience to prevention and treatment to the blending of research and practice.
Drs. Hortensia Amaro and Martin Y. Iguchi, editors of the issue, noted the many scientific opportunities in Hispanic drug abuse research—especially in improving culturally specific prevention and treatment interventions, identifying potential racial differences in biological factors and behavioral processes, and developing and refining methods to study the effects of ethnicity on drug abuse and its prevention and treatment. "The cultural richness and genetic diversity of the Hispanic community pose many challenges in optimizing relevant prevention and treatment strategies for substance abuse and addiction. Awareness is a positive step toward this end," says NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow. In publishing the supplement, NIDA's goal is to guide ongoing research, stimulate new studies, and attract the next generation of investigators to the field. The National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, based at the University of Miami School of Medicine, contributed to the project by collecting information on drug abuse among Latinos and disseminating it to researchers and clinicians. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation collaborated with NIDA to publish the results.