Effects of Racism on Addiction

Effects of Racism on AddictionRacism can be defined as prejudice or discrimination against a certain race or ethnicity, and it affects the following psychological aspects:

  • Self-esteem. A person’s self-esteem or self-worth affects how they see or value themselves, and racism can have a negative effect on self-image.
  • Peer relationships. Relationship with peers and choice of friends may be affected by racism, as those targeted by certain stigmas or attitudes  tend to stick together.
  • Family association. Minorities resent their families due to racism or cling to their families to combat it.

According to the National Association of Social Workers these race-related psychological triggers close doors of opportunity to California residents. They may also contribute to drug use, as low self-esteem and being surrounded by peers or family who abuse drugs may lead a person to drug abuse.

Racism and Drug Use in California

Society makes assumptions about certain races and nationalities, and these preconceived ideas may impact drug use. Some may assume that a black male dressed a certain way or driving a certain car may be a drug dealer. Many of these assumptions are due to the portrayal of drug use in film or television.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHSS) announced in a study in 2003 that drug abuse is high among minority teens due to low self-esteem, lack of family pride or deviant peer associations. Many of these are directly or indirectly caused by racism. Race may also play a role in drug choice. According to the same 2003 study alcohol is the leading addiction among minority teens, followed by cocaine and marijuana.

Drug Addiction Treatment Options

Attitudes toward and access to addiction treatment may be affected by racism. Data in the USDHHS study shows that treatment options are available for all races and ethnicities, but that many programs have difficulty recruiting and maintaining minority clients. Communities affected by racism tend to stick together and try to solve problems such as addiction by themselves.

Inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment options are available to all who seek help regardless of race. Do not allow racism to affect your search for real and professional help.

Help for Addiction

If you or someone you know is dealing with addiction, we can help. Please call our toll-free number today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to connect you to addiction treatment resources that best suit your individual needs. Take action; call us today.

Comments are closed.