The Problem of Substance Abuse within the African Americans in US

The Problem of Substance Abuse within African Americans in US

Substance abuse is a problem among some of the minority groups in the United States. The most affected group is the African Americans. This is the reason why I opted to focus on this population. Alcohol intake among African Americans has resulted to problems such as spread of HIV/AIDS to American citizens, violence, and increased mortality rates which is resulted by alcohol related diseases. According to Reiter (2015), the African Americans dying as a result of alcohol use is 10% higher than that of other communities.

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The Africans Americans are reported to have the lowest rate of alcohol and illicit drugs use (Nasim, 2011). It is ironical to find that although the consumption rate is low in this community, the side effects that are associated with alcohol use affect the community more than other communities in the United States. This ironic aspect is as a result of addiction rate which is very high within African Americans.

Despite the effects that I have mentioned earlier, alcohol use also interfere with moral behavior of individuals. This is brought about by low self-esteem and depression.  As a result accidents and suicides cases tend to remain higher in African American community than the other community groups in the United States. The contributing factor to this problem is ethnic identity. Many African Americans especially youths get into alcohol use to overcome the stress in the feeling that they are discriminated. In support of the hypotheses, only men who reported higher (vs. lower) lifetime discrimination showed a positive association between daily negative mood and that evening’s level of nonsocial drinking (Stud, 2015)

The prevalence of alcohol use in the United States differs in various ways. For instance in grade levels, racial or ethnic subgroup, age, and gender (Megan, 2014). From my research I discovered that the 8th grade population recorded the least prevalence of alcohol use, the 10th grade individuals had a higher prevalence and the 12th grade recorded the highest rate of alcohol use. According to gender the opposite happens in that the female who are at the 8th grade records the highest rate. This change as the age increases in that, the percentage of male again becomes higher than that of the female. African Americans are seen to record low rate of alcohol consumption than other races (Megan, 2014). According to Samhsa (2010) African Americans hold the second position in alcohol abuse with the rate of 47% while the whites take the first position with a rate of 57%.

From my research the best way to solve the problem of addiction is treatment. Treatment is further divided in to three methods. The methods are behavioral, medication and mutual support group. Behavioral treatment aims at changing drinking behavior through counseling. Counseling is led by health professionals. For Medication, there are three medications which are approved in the United States to help people stop or reduce their drinking and prevent relapse. The prescription is given by primary care physicians or health professionals along with counseling or alone. Mutual support groups provide peer support for people quitting back their drinking. This can be as well combined with treatment led by mutual support groups.


DE Padilla, L., Ellison, K., McCarty, F., & Stark, C. (2012) Excessive Drinking Among African

American Men: Individual and Contextual Correlates. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 11(2), 113–129.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Results from the 2009 National

Survey on Drug Use and Health, Summary of National Findings 2010; I, Retrieved from

National institute of alcohol abuse and alcoholism NIH Publication No. 14-7974, Retrieved from

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