Barriers to accessing substance abuse treatment in Mexico: national comparative analysis by migration status

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2014 Jul 30:9:30. doi: 10.1186/1747-597X-9-30.


Background: We examined Mexican migrants' perceived barriers to entering substance abuse treatment and potential differences by gender.

Methods: This study analyzed a subset of household data collected in Mexico in 2011 via the Encuesta Nacional de Adicciones (National Survey of Addictions). A sample of 1,143 individuals who reported using illicit drugs was analyzed using multivariate negative binomial models to determine direct and moderated relationships of gender, migrant status, and drug dependence with perceived barriers to accessing treatment.

Results: Significant findings included disparities in drug dependence by migrant status. Compared with non-migrant men, women who have traveled to the United States was associated with fewer (1.3) barriers to access treatment. Fewer barriers to access care were associated with individuals residing in other regions of the country, compared to those living in Mexico City.

Conclusions: Drug dependence, gender, migration status and regional location are factors associated with access to needed treatment. Implications for health care policy to develop treatment services infrastructure and for future research are discussed in the context of ongoing drug policy reform in Mexico.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs*
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • Young Adult


  • Illicit Drugs