Opioid Addiction and Overdoses Are Harming Black Communities
Opioid Addiction and Overdoses Are Harming Black Communities
The narcotic pestilence has been known as the deadliest medication emergency in American history. And while it is affecting people of all ages and backgrounds, black communities are being hit particularly hard. In this article, we’ll take a look at how the opioid epidemic is affecting black communities and what can be done to address it.
What are opioids and why are they addictive
Opioids are a class of drugs that includes both legal prescription drugs like oxycodone and illegal drugs like heroin. They work by binding to receptors in the brain and spinal cord, reducing the perception of pain. However, they also produce a feeling of euphoria, which can lead to addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids were involved in over 33,000 deaths in 2015. This is a dramatic increase from 1999, when opioids were involved in just over 8,000 deaths. In fact, opioids are now the leading cause of death from drug overdoses in the United States.
Sadly, black communities are being hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that between 1999 and 2015, death rates from opioid overdoses increased by 500% for black Americans.
There are a number of factors that may contribute to this disparity. One is that black Americans are more likely to be prescribed opioids for pain relief than other groups. This is likely due to both racial bias among doctors and disparities in access to quality healthcare. Additionally, black communities are often dealing with high levels of poverty and unemployment, which can lead to desperation and risk-taking behaviors.
Whatever the reasons, it’s clear that the opioid epidemic is having a devastating impact on black Americans. It’s important to be aware of the dangers of these drugs and to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction.
How have opioids impacted Black communities
The opioid epidemic has disproportionately harmed Black communities in the United States. In 2016, Black people made up 13 percent of the population but accounted for 20 percent of all opioid-related deaths. The rate of opioid overdose deaths among Black people was 2.1 times higher than the rate among white people.
There are a number of reasons why opioids have had such a devastating impact on Black communities. One is that painkillers are often prescribed to Black patients at higher rates than white patients, even though they are no more likely to report pain. This can lead to addiction and overdose.
Another reason is that opioids are cheaper and easier to obtain in black neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods. This is because drug dealers often target black neighborhoods with illegal drugs, knowing that there is a high demand for them.
The impact of opioids on Black communities has been devastating. Families have been torn apart, and communities have been left reeling from the loss of so many young lives. It is important to raise awareness of this issue and to provide support for those who are struggling with addiction.
Coming up next are a few assets that can help:
Opiates Unknown: This association offers support gatherings and assets for individuals battling with habit.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: This government agency provides information on treatment and recovery resources.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline: This helpline provides 24/7 confidential support for people struggling with addiction.
The opioid epidemic has hit Black communities hard. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids were involved in 42,249 deaths in 2016, and Black Americans were disproportionately affected, with 15,469 deaths. That’s nearly four times the rate of whites.
The impact of opioids goes beyond just the numbers of those who have died. It also takes a toll on families and communities. For example, the CDC found that from 2011 to 2015, there was a nearly six-fold increase in the number of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), a condition caused by exposure to opioids in utero. In 2015, almost 1% of all babies born in the U.S. had NAS – but for Black babies, the rate was more than double that.
There are many factors that contribute to the high rates of opioid use and abuse in Black communities. Some experts point to economic factors, such as poverty and unemployment, which can lead to desperation and make people more likely to turn to drugs. There is also a lack of access to treatment for addiction, which means that many people who need help don’t get it.
What is being done to combat the opioid crisis in Black communities
The opioid crisis in Black communities is a devastating problem that is often overlooked. While the media focuses on the opioid crisis in White America, Black communities are struggling with their own epidemic. According to the National Association of County and City Health Officials, Black people are twice as likely to die from an opioid overdose as White people.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the higher rates of overdose in Black communities. One is the lack of access to quality healthcare. Black people are more likely to live in poverty and lack health insurance, which means they often can’t get the treatment they need for addiction. Even when they do have insurance, they may not be able to afford the copays or deductibles for treatment.
Another factor is the history of racism in America. Black people have been discriminated against for centuries, and this has led to a mistrust of authority figures and institutions. This mistrust can make it difficult for Black people to seek help for their addiction, even when they want to.
There are some efforts being made to combat the opioid crisis in Black communities. The NAACP has partnered with the Drug Policy Alliance to launch a campaign called #EndBlackPain. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the issue.
In addition, the National Institutes of Health is funding a study to develop culturally-sensitive messaging about the risks of opioids. The study will focus on reaching Black people who are at risk for addiction.
It’s going to take a concerted effort from everyone to address the opioid crisis in Black communities. Only by working together can we hope to make a difference.
Opioid addiction and overdoses have been a growing problem in Black communities across the country. In response to this crisis, many organizations and individuals have been working to raise awareness and provide resources and support to those affected.
One such organization is the Black Caucus of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has been working to educate Black parents and caregivers about the dangers of opioids. The Caucus has also been advocating for more funding for research on opioid abuse and addiction in Black communities.
Individual Black doctors and other medical professionals have also been working to combat the opioid crisis. Dr. LaShanda Jones, a pain management specialist, has been working to increase access to treatment for opioid addiction in her community. She has also started a program called “No More Silence”, which aims to break the stigma around addiction and mental health in Black communities.
These are just a few examples of the many efforts being made to combat the opioid crisis in Black communities. With more awareness and support, we can continue to make progress in addressing this devastating issue.
In conclusion, opioid addiction and overdoses are having a devastating effect on black communities across the United States. The reasons for this are numerous and complex, but what is clear is that something needs to be done to address this growing problem. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to opioids, please seek help from a qualified medical professional.