Drug addiction is a complex chronic disorder commonly characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior. Drug abuse adversely affects all aspects of an individual’s functioning and holds prospects for relapse, recurrence, or recovery. Substance abuse among the American population is a 20th-century epidemic that has been on a consistent upward trend. As of 2018, approximately 20.3 million people suffered from substance use disorder, whether it be illegal or prescription drugs. Despite substance use cutting across the entire American population, the consequent risks, to a great extent, differ by race and ethnicity. American society comprises several subsets, all of which face disproportional effects of substance abuse.
Substance Addiction Among Minority Groups
In 2019, the demographic analysis on American minority groups population was;
- Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders 0.3%
- Asian American 5.9%
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives 1.3%
- African American 13.1%
- Hispanic 18.5%
The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data on substance use disorder among the American subgroups outlines as below;
- Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders 9.3%
- Asian American 4.8%
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives 10.1%
- African American 6.9%
- Hispanic 7.1%
According to NSDUH statistics, substance use in the U.S. mainly encompasses the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Cocaine and opioids, including heroin, are also prevalent, especially among the subgroups. Below is an extensive analysis of the effects of drug usage within several minority groups.
Native Hawaiian And Other Pacific Islanders(NHOPI) And Asian Americans With Substance Addiction
NHOPI population comprises of people originally from Samoa, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands. Among all the minority groups, the rate of drug abuse is primarily dominant with the NHOPIs. Moreover, the substance usage rate among NHOPIs is notably higher than the national average. The main contributing factor to this is quick access to drugs and almost non-existent healthcare services. Therefore, abuse of prescription stimulants is on a constant rise since they are affordable and easily obtainable. According to the 2018 NSDUH report, alcohol and tobacco abuse top the list with 54.3% and 33.6%. Marijuana, cocaine, and heroin additionally comprise commonly abused drugs. Asian Americans have their roots in India and Southeast Asia. Like NHOPIs, alcohol, and tobacco are the most abused substances, with 53.6% and 12.8%. Drug abuse within this culture is inherently uncommon; thus, brewing palpable stigmatization for users. Consequently, this community prides in the least rates for substance use among all the minority groups. However, the surrounding stigma hinders individuals from accessing treatment for this disorder.
American Indians And Alaskan Natives (AIAN) With Substance Use
American Indians primarily originate from Central, North, and South America. The 2018 NSDUH reports show a 10.1% prevalence of substance abuse within this community. Alcohol and tobacco abuse are the most dominant, with 55% and 44%. Despite some states legalizing marijuana, it remains illicit at the national stage. Individuals addicted to marijuana constitute 23% of the population with substance abuse. Methamphetamine is particularly familiar with depressed 18-26-year-old females. On the brighter side, the use of cocaine has taken a considerable dip. Cultural diversity poses a noticeable barrier to seeking treatment. Most addicts turn to traditional healing, whose effectiveness is questionable.
African Americans And Hispanics With Substance Abuse
Hispanics are among the most culturally diverse communities, with their ancestry in Mexico, Cuba, and Central America. Also known as Latino Americans, Hispanics are the fastest-rising demographic community. Substance use disorder stands at 7.1%, with alcohol and tobacco abuse being the most common with 57.9% and 19.6%. The approval of marijuana in some states has seen a consequent spike in its usage, with a 13.9% dominance. However, marijuana is still prohibitory at the federal level. Other common substances include opioids, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and misuse of prescribed stimulants. Most users also consume multiple drugs. Drug abuse is uniquely familiar with individuals with underlying mental health issues, including depression and suicidal thoughts.
Unlike other subgroups, the Black American population has seen a substantial decrease (by 25%) in alcohol usage over the last three years. About 6.9% suffered substance use disorder, with alcohol use outstanding at 57.3%. Tobacco and marijuana follow at 27.2% and 17.8%. Nonetheless, there has been a substantial increase in marijuana use, particularly for individuals above 26. On the right side of things, marijuana use disorder is still low, despite the significant increment. Mental health disorders have been on the rise among the African American population, consequently impacting substance use. Other key contributing factors include discrimination and peer pressure.
Treatments to Consider for Addiction
Much as minority groups continue to suffer substance use disorder, addiction treatment still hasn’t secured a strong position among these communities. Unavailability of proper healthcare, economic, and financial constraints are possible hurdles to this. Addiction treatment is a necessity for every person, or race, notwithstanding ethnicity. Additionally, everyone has their specific medication for treatment and recovery. Thus, administering therapy for substance use disorder patients should be individualized. Healthcare providers should eliminate the social stigma that comes with seeking treatment for substance use. Therapy primarily helps you to improve your mental health, while at the same time medically managing withdrawal. TruVida Recovery is your go-to center for addiction treatment. Contact us today, and let’s walk you through holistic healing.