Substance abuse fuels incarceration rates for Black men
January 9, 2013 · Print This Article
A recent study reports that treating substance abusers, especially African Americans, could save the nation billions of dollars at a time when all eyes are glued to debates over how to solve the country’s national debt.
The study by researchers at Meharry Medical College School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. linked the prevalence of substance abuse disorders to the high rates of incarceration among Black males. Published in the November 2012 edition of “Frontiers in Psychiatry,” the study also suggested that spending more money on community-based treatment programs and improving mental health care in the Black community could have an impact on substance abuse and crime among young Black males.
Substance use disorders (SUDs) were associated with health problems, economic hardships, failed relationships, domestic violence and crime. If you struggled with drugs and lived in a major metropolitan area you were also more likely to spend time behind bars.
According to the Meharry study, roughly 80 percent of adults in U.S. prisons used or abused alcohol or other drugs. (Greene County Democrat)