For George Floyd and Black Men in Recovery, ‘Everything Piles Up’

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From The Washington Post: “Finding a way to live has never been a sure thing for Black men in America, who are taught from an early age that any misstep could lead to a prison cell or a coffin. They have higher rates of hypertension, obesity and heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are twice as likely as White men to die of a cocaine overdose, twice as likely to be killed by police and, in Floyd’s age group, 10 times as likely to die of a homicide.

Public-health researchers and scientists once held that these disparities were the result of poor choices — bad diets, lack of exercise, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But experts are increasingly pointing to another culprit: systemic racism. Being Black in America, they have found, is its own preexisting condition . . .

‘When opioid use started rising in White communities, the image of a drug user became the “accidental addict,”‘ said Samuel Roberts, a Columbia University professor who studies the history of harm-reduction programs. ‘But that was no different than how Black people got involved in drugs. They don’t go out there intending to complicate their lives, but I think that shows how we’ve been thinking about mental health in the Black community.'”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. ” A recent analysis of federal data showed one in 10 African Americans said they had an unmet need for mental health treatment — twice as many as the general population. And those who did find help were more likely to end treatment early, citing factors such as cost, stigma and a sense that their provider didn’t understand them.
    These feelings are particularly damaging when it comes to substance abuse and mental health, according to Jordan, the psychiatry professor at Yale University who studies race and addiction. Clients must trust that their providers take their concerns seriously and are treating them as individuals, not stereotypes.”

    An interesting and ignorant way to approach reality. It is too bad that psychiatry and it’s mental health cling ons took over oppression.

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