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There are many different types of minorities that are spread out all across the planet. With how diverse the population of the planet is, the numbers of different types of specific minority groups are almost countless. The main ones are pretty easy to count though especially in the United States, and the 2010 U.S. Census published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), reported that 36.3 percent of the US population was a part of an ethnic or racial minority, which often includes the following groups of individuals like:
• Asian American
• Latino or Hispanic
• African American or Black
• Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI)
• White or Caucasian
• American Indian or Alaska Native
These are minorities, and given the fact that they are minorities, minority groups all across the nation experience different aspects and characteristics of life that are not as common or as prevalent in other majority groups. One of them is substance abuse and addiction. True, majority groups in the United States also suffer with substance abuse problems too, but not in as nearly a severe way that many minorities experience it. Some minorities don’t suffer with substance abuse as much as the norm, but most do.
In the year of 2013, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), estimated that no less than 23.6 million Americans, (only counting Americans over the age 12), abused or were dependent on drugs or alcohol to one degree or another. Different races may view substance abuse and treatment differently than others do, with some races being more accepting and allowing it, and with other races never seeming to have a problem with it.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA) published the following information on minority groups’ past-month, (having used drugs in the past nth being considered “current” drug use), of illicit drug substances and chemicals in the year of 2014:
• Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, (NHOPIs): 15.6 percent
• American Indians and Alaska Natives: 14.9 percent
• African Americans: 12.4 percent
• National Average: 10.2 percent
• Hispanics: 8.9 percent
• Asian Americans: 4.1 percent
Alcohol Abuse is Also a Factor that is Pretty Concerning Among Minorities
From the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
“Binge drinking and alcohol abuse in general is a pattern of potentially dangerous alcohol consumption that raises one’s blood alcohol concentration, (known as the BAC levels), to 0.08 g/dL or above, which usually means or translates to about four drinks for a woman or five for a man in a two-hour span of time.”
Caucasians easily hold the highest statistic when it comes to abusing alcohol, binge drinking, drinking daily, or overdosing on alcohol. Alcohol usage may indeed be highest among Caucasians, (with no less than a full 57.7 percent reporting current alcohol consumption or drinking alcohol in the past month alone), as published by the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH).
However, this is also a big problems for minorities and multiracial groups with these individuals often being more seriously affected by alcohol abuse than a Caucasian would be, due to other factors that Caucasians rarely have to deal with like difficulties accessing care for addiction treatment, the right kind of care not being available to them so they can actually get help, having bad environmental influences at home, experiencing social problems, and also having financial concerns that may be barriers to treatment as well.
Binge drinking rates for the different races in 2013 as indicated by NSDUH were as follows:
• Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, (NHOPIs): 24.7 percent
• Hispanics: 24.1 percent
• Whites: 24 percent
• American Indians and Alaska Natives: 23.5 percent
• Blacks: 20.1 percent
• Multiracial individuals: 19.6 percent
• Asian Americans: 12.4 percent
Why Minorities Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol Need to Seek Rehabilitation
Minorities need to have good access to successful and well-accredited rehabilitation programs and centers. Only in this way will addicted individuals in these demographics ever actually be able to beat their addiction habits and move forward with their lives. For minorities, the best type of approach for beating drug and alcohol addiction lies in inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment centers, detox facilities, rehab programs, and recovery organizations.
To help addicted minorities, inpatient rehab centers need to have full service detox facilities too, so that addicted minorities can come down off of whatever it is they have been using and abusing in comfortable and, more importantly, safe way. If this is done then chemical dependence can be beaten right then and there with the help of such a detox unit.
Even more importantly though, rehabs that treat minorities also need to have stellar counseling, therapy, electives, life skills, coping strategies, relapse prevention, and aftercare support. There are a lot of stigmas and incentives to abuse drugs and alcohol that are going on in the mind of a minority group member. If these are not handled properly then the problem of addiction itself will never truly be handled either. To be able to service these individuals the best, facilities that offer care for mental health and substance abuse should therefore be culturally sensitive in order to provide optimal results for everyone who goes to them. In this way, addicted minorities too can finally get the help that they dearly need and want.
Addiction is a terrible affliction to have whether one is a minority or not. It is devastating on a highly personal level regardless of sex or ethnicity. Addiction is intensely powerful and it take a lot of resolve to beat it, even with the help of a rehab center. With proper rehab though, minority groups can finally get the help that they need to beat drug and alcohol addiction once and for all and for good.