Immigrants from Mexico tend to be healthier than their American-born counterparts. However, a new study shows Mexican immigrants who come to the U.S. before the age of 14 are more likely to have alcohol and drug problems as adults.

The KERA radio story.

Adjusting to life in a new country can be challenging, especially if you’re young.  A new study, to be published July in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, brings new insights on alcohol and drug use among Mexican-Americans.

Jennifer Reingle Gonzalez, co-author of the study and Assistant Professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health, says data showed people who came to the U.S. from Mexico before the age of 12 were more likely to have drug abuse problems in adulthood, and those who came before age 14 were more likely to have alcohol abuse problems than those who came later on in life.