Disparities in substance use disorders (SUD) and access to treatment among individuals identified as Latino/Hispanic have become a significant public health issue in the United States. National efforts to identify, understand, and eliminate such disparities have highlighted the role of structural racism in Latino health. In this chapter, we offer a critical review of how Latino substance use and access to care may be impacted by discrimination, acculturation stress, and other mechanisms of structural racism. As structural racism is represented by policies, systems, structures, and norms that deny and/or minimize cultural strengths and disempower culturally diverse groups and their attempts to invest in their wellness, we highlight how cultural competence may reduce the risk of SUD and may enhance access to treatment among Latinos. We conclude by highlighting policies and responsive organizational practices that may improve Latino health.
Part of the book: Effective Elimination of Structural Racism