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Substance Abuse and Race

Substance Abuse and Race

Substance abuse can raise hell upon all different types of race, age, and gender.  It holds no bars upon whom it takes under its grips.  Substance abuse has long been an issue throughout the years of our society that only continues to develop further.  This has led researchers to look into different trends of use and abuse to try and establish more data on the issue, so as to be able to handle it more effectively. Research has even been done to see if there is a connection between substance abuse and race.

While addiction is an all-encompassing condition that spreads across those of all types, there have been certain trends that have shown themselves in between races.  Whether this is determined by location, association or the old debate of nature versus nurture is uncertain in many cases, but the reality is there is a disparity shown among races.  The disparity of substance abuse and race has shown in several different things, whether it be the rate of use or the type of substance.

There have been several different surveys and reports regarding the different statistics of substance abuse and raceSAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) does a survey called the NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) every year which provides quite a lot of data showing the trends of substance abuse among different races in the United States.

Substance Abuse and Race

Whites and Substance Abuse

The illicit drug abuse rate for white individuals according to the 2013 NSDUH was 9.5 percent.  Between 2002 and 2013, this rate of use had increased from 8.5 percent up the current percentage.  One important thing to note is that heroin tends to be the largest problem within the white population, and in fact heroin kills more white people than any other race.  A large factor in this could be the fact that white individuals have a higher rate of being prescribed opiates in comparison to minorities, and opiate prescriptions have often times escalated into heroin abuse.

Substance Abuse Among African Americans

According to the 2013 NSDUH, the rate of illicit drug use was 10.5 percent among African Americans.  Out of the few races discussed here, African Americans have the highest percentage of rates of illicit drug use.  One concern that many have noted with black people and substance abuse is the neglect of them in regard to drug addiction.  The Black Lives Matter group was formed in regard to many scenarios like this, where black individuals receive less attention when it comes to important issues in relation to other races.

Hispanics and Drug Abuse

The 2013 NSDUH, states that illicit drug use among Hispanics in 2013 was about 8.5 percent.  While out of the three groups discussed here, Hispanics have the lowest rate of illicit drug use, they have one of the higher rates of binge drinking.  The 2014 NSDUH shows the rate of binge drinking for Hispanics or Latinos 12 and up was 24.7 percent, almost a quarter of the population in this age bracket.  It is not that Hispanics have more amounts of individuals drinking, but rather per statistics, when they do consume alcohol, they consume higher amounts than other races.

As stated previously, there is not always an ability to ascertain as to why there are these disparities between races.  Though there have been several factors isolated that seem to play a role.  Some of such factors that play in are the circumstances of daily life and residential location.  According to the paper Drug Use Among Racial/Ethnic Minorities put out by the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), “Residential location is of special importance in studies of the nature and extent of illegal drug use because sometimes considerable urban-rural differences exist in the distribution and dynamics of drug involvement within the United States, as well as variations in drugs of choice.”  This can be viewed as the fact that certain drugs like some prescription medications tend to be more prominent in urban environments.

Where to Find Help For an Addiction

When using a substance has gone too far, sometimes an individual needs to seek addiction treatment.  Seeking help for an addiction is something that a person should never feel ashamed about.  In fact, it is one of the most courageous things a person can do, as it can very difficult to do so.  When searching for a treatment center, it is important to find one that will address all aspects of the individual’s addiction.  Since every person who falls into addiction is unique in their scenario, it is important for them to get individualized treatment.  Our advisors can help you to find a treatment center that will tailor a program specific to each person.  Give us a call today to learn more about how substance abuse and race are connected, or so we can help you or your loved one onto the road to sobriety.

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