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Is Opioid Addiction On The Rise Due To Lack Of Treatment Access?

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Summation

  • That bias within the system needs to change, or the opioid crisis is going to continue to hit those of ethnic minorities even harder as we face a cost of living and energy crisis, where even more people will turn to drugs.
  • There are a number of initiatives across the country that are trying to combat the number of overdoses on the streets of the USA by offering safe spaces to inject opioids, offering sanitised needles and experts on hand to prevent overdosing.
  • Over a million people have died of opioid overdoses since the 1990s and many more have battled with addiction to the likes of heroin and more recently fentanyl, undergoing heroin rehab to get themselves back on track.

The USA is undergoing an opioid crisis and that’s having a knock on effect to the rest of the world. The United States is in crisis and the government has a long way to go to solving it.

Over a million people have died of opioid overdoses since the 1990s and many more have battled with addiction to the likes of heroin and more recently fentanyl, undergoing heroin rehab to get themselves back on track.

However, claims are that access to such treatment is unequal, and leading more people to suffer in the black and Latino community than any other.

There’s been a shift in people suffering from opioid addiction. Where it was once a problem among the white and middle class, victims are now largely black and of ethnic minorities, struggling with longer term addictions and no access to treatment.

Over the last decade, opioid overdose deaths have risen a staggering 575% and in 2019 the number of deaths among the black community exceeded the white community for the first time.

Racial inequalities is one of the main reasons for this, with research showing that black people are finding it more difficult to get the treatment and join the treatment programmes that they need.

Therefore, it’s imperative that the US government recognise this to improve funding and resources in these key areas. However, it’s campaigners and volunteers that are leading the way at present.

There are a number of initiatives across the country that are trying to combat the number of overdoses on the streets of the USA by offering safe spaces to inject opioids, offering sanitised needles and experts on hand to prevent overdosing. It’s saving lives at a staggering rate, but of course isn’t helping people necessarily get clean.

According to data research, of the people going through rehabilitation for substance abuse and granted funding, just 12.9% of those are black, with 77% of people of those white and 2.8% Native American. That’s a worrying disparity and is even more pronounced in some states, such as North Carolina, where that figure rose to 88% white people.

That bias within the system needs to change, or the opioid crisis is going to continue to hit those of ethnic minorities even harder as we face a cost of living and energy crisis, where even more people will turn to drugs.

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