Why is the racial gap in US drug overdoses widening? | TV Shows

On Thursday, July 28 at 19:30 GMT:
The variety of individuals dying from drug overdoses within the US is now at report ranges, with the variety of fatalities recorded in 2021 equal to 1 dying each 5 minutes.

Now the US Facilities for Illness Management (CDC) has discovered that that whereas deadly overdoses rose dramatically through the first 12 months of the coronavirus pandemic throughout all racial demographics, overdose fatalities surged particularly amongst Black and Native American people.

The CDC says overdose deaths surged 44% amongst Black individuals and 39% amongst Native American individuals in 2020 over the earlier 12 months, based mostly on knowledge drawn from 25 US states and the District of Colombia. Overdose fatalities rose 22% amongst white individuals over the identical interval. A glut of illegally-produced fentanyl, an artificial opioid, is behind the vast majority of recorded deaths, the company says.

CDC officers partially attribute the rise in deaths throughout all demographics to the disruption of prevention, remedy, hurt discount and restoration help providers through the very worst early days of the coronavirus pandemic. However it additionally discovered that opioid overdose charges in 2020 have been increased in areas the place there may be better availability of opioid remedy programmes, in comparison with areas with fewer remedy choices.

That’s of little shock to frontline non-governmental organisations battling to supply assist and help to drug customers, significantly these serving Black and Indigenous communities. They are saying many individuals with drug addictions are unable to simply access the assistance they want, whether or not as a result of an absence of transportation, medical insurance coverage, or distrust of the providers which can be offered. Researchers level to racial inequities throughout the US healthcare system that systematically exclude racial minorities from access to drug dependancy remedy and care.

In elements of the US the place the lethal affect of drug use is especially acute, group leaders and well being officers at the moment are establishing access to life-saving remedy programmes and fentanyl check kits by trusted locales, similar to church buildings and group centres. However the affect of fentanyl in Black and Indigenous communities stays a largely hidden epidemic.

On this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at why fentanyl and different highly effective medicine are having a very lethal affect on Black and Indigenous communities within the US, and ask what’s wanted to avoid wasting lives.

On this episode of The Stream, we’re joined by:
Andrea Medley
Analysis Affiliate, Heart for American Indian Well being, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being

Charles Hawthorne, @charles_hwthrne
Fairness and Hurt Discount Mission Supervisor, CA Bridge

Maritza Perez, @maritzacperez
Director of the Workplace of Nationwide Affairs, Drug Coverage Alliance

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