The United States (U.S.) is currently facing a complex epidemic of prescription drug misuse (PDM). Previous literature lacks information on the prevalence of PDM in racial and ethnic minorities (REM) and associated precipitating variables. The current review aims to build upon the limited research regarding REM engagement in PDM and the associated variables. This examination identified and summarized: 1) contemporary research on the prevalence of PDM in REM, 2) major variables associated with PDM in this subpopulation, and 3) current evidence-based treatments for PDM. The review revealed mixed results related to the prevalence of PDM in REM. Previous research believed the PDM epidemic to be dominated by White individuals, more recent research supports increased instances of PDM among REM. Recent national surveys found REM PDM to be increased and, in some instances, equal to- or higher than White individuals PDM. Major predictors related to PDM include residential instability, rural living, and perceived discrimination. REMs are also exposed to increased substance use health disparities and are at risk of experiencing negative PDM outcomes. Attitudes related to PDM were found to be positive or neutral. The relationship between exposure to PDM media and attitudes needs further research as PDM exposure continues to increase in media. Across PDM treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was found to be the most common treatment. Involvement of REM in PDM research highlights the continued importance of increased inclusion of REM individuals within PDM research, examination of relevant psychosocial variables, and further assessment of treatment efficacy for REMs.

LLU Discipline





School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Bridgette J. Peteet

Second Advisor

Kelly R Morton

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Ethnic and Racial Minorities; Prescription Drug Misuse


Doctoral Project

Page Count

ix, 60 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Psychology Commons