Drugs do not discriminate –  

July 23, 2020 – In continued observance of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, Recovery Unplugged Treatment Centers is examining and addressing the unique factors that lead to and sustain substance abuse in minority communities, as well as the barriers to treatment that they experience. 

As the country continues to grapple with racial and ethnic tension in multiple areas of everyday life, this tension is exemplified through glaring and persistent disparities in the addiction and recovery landscapes: 

SAMHSA’s 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that 1.1 million Hispanic/Latino youth used illicit drugs in the past year, including 208,000 who misused opioids in the past year, and that 92 percent of Hispanic/Latino youth with a substance use disorder did not receive treatment in a specialty facility. 

Despite relatively uniform rates of substance abuse among racial and ethnic populations, there is a disproportionate rate of drug arrests among the Black Community. Although these gaps have narrowed, they still represent a significant threat to the mental health and quality of life of this population. 

Data from the University of Pennsylvania indicates that members of the Black and Hispanic communities are less likely than White patients to complete addiction treatment, due largely to socioeconomic factors. 

The American Psychological Association reports that, although efforts have been made to improve access to addiction treatment among minority communities as a whole, comparatively little has been done to specifically help Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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