Hikmet J Jamil, Ayesha Niazy, Mada H Jamil and Bengt B Arnetz
Background: Substance abuse is a global endemic costing billions. Its impact on healthcare is unparalleled, hence assessing risk factors and prevalence is necessary. The study objective was to review substance abuse amongst Middle Eastern community in Metro Detroit, Michigan US. Methods: A random sample (n=337) of Iraqi (Arab vs. Chaldean) who were residents in metro Detroit area were studied. The substance abuses studied were alcohol, amphetamine, sedative and street drugs. Chi-square test, Binary logistic regression and linear regression analysis were used. Results: Study results concluded that there was significant difference in the prevalence of substance abuse in the two groups, with Chaldeans having higher ‘all substance abuse’ prevalence. On further analysis, Chaldeans had a higher prevalence in alcohol (51%), whereas Arabs had more street drug use (9.8%) (p<0.001). Being a male, Chaldean, and having depression are a risk factor predictor for combined substance abuse. Depression was the common risk factor predictor for all combined substance, sedative and street drug use. Risk factor predictors for excellent health were among Chaldean, young, and those who do not report symptoms of depression. Employed and those who have stayed in the USA for a long time. Amongst the users, Arabs had a higher prevalence of hypertension, headache, amnesia, muscles or tendons conditions, and depression (p<0.005). Conclusion: There was significant difference between Arab and Chaldean in prevalence of substance abuse. Chaldeans had more alcohol usage, whereas Arabs had more street drug use. Individuals with depression and of Chaldean ethnicity have a high risk factor for combined substance–especially alcohol.