Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial -- The Mall Washington (DC) September 2011

An MSN, APRN, and CS, Alice B. Britt has a new definition of substance abuse based upon her findings and research.  It does of course involve the unceasing abuse of any kind of drug which provides its abuser with a mood and mind altering state and that thusly causes the abuser much turmoil in terms of emotions, psychology, and the physical and spiritual.  In accordance with other definitions, it will eventually kill any substance abuser if no means are taken to stop them, such as an residential drug treatment center.

Substance abuse spirals out of control more and more everyday.  No group is more affected than those in the African American culture.  Making up about twelve percent of the United States populace, they also make up for about twenty-three percent of the admittances to public centers for treatment for drug addiction.

Because the numbers are so unbalanced, it is clear to her that the way African Americans receive addiction treatment must change to be more receptive to their culture as a minority in the United Sates.  Even though there have been great leaps in the economic and social opportunities out there African Americans, they still continue to be seen as a racial and not a cultural group, according to Britt.

Because of this perception, they also continue to be adversely affected, especially in their psychology.  Most studies about drug abuse and drug rehab have centered solely on white males.  Only lately have there been changes in who is studied.  Such an obvious bias has probably exacerbated the detrimental situation the African American community finds itself in today.  The way research is carried out must change to reflect the needs of the drug and alcohol abusers within the African American community.Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial -- The Mall Washington (DC) September 2011

Various factors ignored and neglected during research include age, economic status, where the substance abuser lives, their age and gender, and most especially of all, their culture.  Because these different factors all affect how and why people of all addiction types function as a substance abuser, it is important to finally start acknowledging them more in studies.

One of the most important things to consider when studying African American communities and the role drug abuse plays is the socioeconomic situation they are in.  Poor literacy rates and education opportunities,  narrow job options, poverty and other considerations are a large part of why the African American community is so affected by substance abuse problems.

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