During African American History Month, the statistics and unique needs of African American addicts are spotlighted.
Each February the nation reflects upon African American contributions to the United States during Black History Month (officially African American History Month). This month-long celebration encourages reflection upon the significant additions to many fields of American society of a diverse race of people, but also the opportunity to examine the trends of addiction among African Americans, and needs for effective addiction treatment.
Much of African American History Month focuses on promoting the stories of individual African Americans who have excelled in specific fields: Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court, George Washington Carver, the inventor who developed an estimated 300 products from peanuts, and Madam CJ Walker, the first woman (of any race) to become a self-made millionaire.
The tougher, but equally important aspects of African American History Month have to do with educating the general population about the remaining racial injustices and inequalities in the United States. The mission of such education is to improve equality and justice among black Americans.
African Americans represent approximately 12-13% of the population of the United States and account for many diverse subsets of backgrounds. Despite this relatively small percentage of the overall population, African Americans account for more than 35% of all incarcerated individuals in the country (year 2000 census data). These and other injustices deserve a spotlight during African American History Month.
African American populations drink less than the national average, and also experience lower numbers of alcoholism. The national average rate of binge drinking among all Americans age 12 and up is approximately 23%, but 21.6 % among African Americans. Young people age 12-20 reporting having consumed alcohol in the past month has a national average of 22.8%, but only 17.3% among African American youth.
Unfortunately, however, African Americans ages 12 and up have slightly higher rates of illegal drug use, 12.4% compared to a national average of 10.2%.
Rehab care for African-Americans is another area of inequality. A recent study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) suggests that care for this underserved population would do better with greater cultural sensitivity in treatment. (Statistically, African Americans currently have lower recovery rates in rehab).
One possible reason cited in the study, “the failure of drug abuse treatment providers and researchers to see race as a cultural rather than physical phenomenon.”
Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) February 21, 2017