Black Drug Rehab at Long Island Interventions
Specializing in African American Inpatient and Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment
If you need help with addiction, Long Island Interventions provides specialized care for African Americans in Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Epidemic
Greater New York is currently in the thrall of a drug and alcohol addiction epidemic. No one is exempt. If you don’t abuse substances yourself, you probably have a family member who does.
Although the consequences of active addiction can be deadly, the condition can be managed successfully with ongoing care. Nevertheless, addiction cannot be cured.
More than one-third of the approximately two million people entering publicly funded substance abuse treatment in the United States do not complete treatment.
Getting sober is hard, and staying sober is harder. It is virtually impossible to stop using without help, and many people who need help aren’t getting it.
Research Findings About Drug Addiction in Black Populations
Substance abuse rates among Black Americans are consistent with substance abuse rates in the general population. However, while African Americans are more likely to seek help, they are less likely to have favorable treatment outcomes.
- The percentage of Black people who indulge in heavy drinking is much lower than the percentage of heavy drinkers in the general population.
- Black people use less alcohol and cocaine overall than Caucasians and Hispanics. However, their total cocaine intake includes both crack and powder.
- The drug of choice in the Black community seems to be crack cocaine.
- Recent studies on the specific forms of cocaine reveal that Black people prefer crack to cocaine and other drugs. African Americans also ingest more crack than other U.S. ethnic groups. Nevertheless, Blacks use less cocaine overall.
- Researchers have determined that Caucasians are 35 times more likely than Blacks to visit hospitals for buprenorphine, an opioid painkiller used to treat opioid use disorder.
- Black people report a much higher rate of lifetime crack cocaine use compared to Whites and Hispanics.
Studies of Black Americans That Include Caribbean Blacks
Some drug and alcohol abuse research studies lump Black Americans and Caribbean Blacks into one population for purposes of the study. Combining the populations has been shown to skew the actual substance abuse rates in those populations.
Recent studies show that patterns of substance abuse can differ significantly between African American Blacks and Caribbean Blacks. Here are some key ideas identified by the researchers:
- Black people can’t always get access to rehab when they need it.
- African Americans have slightly higher rates of substance misuse disorder than Caribbean Blacks.
- Black people are more likely to need treatment for substance abuse and less likely to need treatment for alcoholism.
- Substance use disorders are more common in Black American women than in Black Caribbean women.
- First-generation Caribbean Blacks are significantly less likely to have a substance use disorder compared to American Blacks.
How Is Addiction Treated in Black Populations?
The staff at Long Island Interventions works closely with many insurance providers, and you may qualify for free care depending on your insurance coverage and deductible.
Although African Americans have a higher rate of illicit drug use than other populations, they are also more likely than the general population to seek help at specialized treatment facilities.
Researchers have found that treatment outcomes for African Americans are generally poor across a variety of measures. Blacks are significantly more likely than other ethnic groups to be jailed or sent to prison for drug-related offenses.
Social and Cultural Considerations When Treating Drug Addiction in African Americans
Addressing key social and cultural issues may increase the number of Black Americans who seek help and improve treatment outcomes overall:
Multicultural program staff
Cultural differences between treatment providers and program participants can create an environment of misunderstanding and distrust. A multicultural staff can help African Americans to feel “a part of.”
Diversity among the treatment program staff has been shown to improve the overall quality of care. Diversity encourages clients to interact and connect with staff while overcoming cultural misperceptions and biases.
Assigning a person of color to a Black person’s treatment team can inspire African American clients to more actively engage in the recovery process and participate in the development of their treatment plans.
Convenient location and easy accessibility
Substance abuse treatment should be easy to find and readily accessible by automobile or by public transportation. Researchers have found that a lack of transportation is one of the most potent barriers to treatment faced by Black Americans.
Strong spiritual and religious beliefs
Religion and spirituality are tried and true sources of strength for most Black Americans. Treatment programs with a strong spiritual component can help clients to access a Higher Power by following spiritual practices during the recovery process.
When things get rough in the Black community, the Black community goes to church. Social support and religious counsel are two formidable pillars of the church that Black Americans rely on for guidance and inner strength.
Researchers have found that spirituality among Blacks recovering from addiction is correlated with positive outcomes.
Fewer co-occurring disorders
Researchers tell us that Black Americans are less likely than other ethnicities or the population at large to develop a substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health condition.
People who abuse substances can develop co-occurring mental health conditions like agoraphobia, PTSD, and persistent depressive disorder.
At the same time, African Americans are more likely to ignore mental health problems and less likely to know whether a mental health crisis exists.
Black people often hide mental health issues from others and deal with them privately. However, treating a substance use disorder without addressing a concurrent mental health disorder makes both conditions worse.
Some researchers believe that African Americans are just as likely to develop co-occurring mental health conditions as other ethnic groups. However, because those issues often go untreated, it can look like Black Americans have fewer mental health problems when in fact they just hide them better.
Barriers to Treatment and Recovery
Fear is a powerful barrier between Black individuals and professional help. One study found that the fear levels in Black Americans who were considering treatment for a substance use disorder were almost three times higher than fear levels for other ethnicities.
Many individuals in the Black community don’t trust the American medical establishment. They have been betrayed by medical professionals before, and trust is in short supply.
Although the stigma attached to mental illness still exists, people have become more accepting of it and more willing to explore mental health issues when they develop.
Perhaps the most significant obstacle to treatment for Black Americans is a lack of access to information. Many African Americans cannot get the help they need because of circumstances beyond their control. However, there are many alternative resources available for Black people who want help with addiction.
According to Tanya Young Williams, a Black woman, Co-Founder, and CEO of Pivot Treatment & Wellness Centers in Palm Beach County, Florida, “The lack of information regarding substance abuse treatment and recovery is alarming and consequently killing Black people. Many members of our community have no idea of the resources readily accessed by their white counterparts.”
By making information about substance abuse and co-occurring disorders readily available and easy to access, we can become more informed as a society and better equipped to make responsible decisions.
Researchers tell us that minorities with opioid use disorders are at a particular disadvantage when it comes to finding and accessing appropriate treatment.
Many Blacks and other minorities find it harder to access affordable treatment options due to unemployment, low income, a criminal record, and higher Medicaid enrollment costs.
Studies suggest that Blacks and Hispanics, who are less likely than Whites to complete substance abuse treatment programs, usually drop out for socioeconomic reasons.
The criminal justice system can sometimes provide a pathway to treatment through the court system. Even so, more than 33 percent of clients who begin treatment for substance abuse do not finish the program.
Researchers have discovered that roughly 50 percent of all discharges from the treatment programs in their study had been in the nonintensive outpatient program when they dropped out. Compared to whites, Native Americans and Blacks were less likely to participate in nonintensive outpatient programs.
Recent studies with Black and Hispanic populations strongly suggest that lower treatment intensity is correlated with poor treatment outcomes. However, not all researchers agree with those findings.
If you are a Black American who is finding it difficult to get treatment for a substance abuse disorder, the help you need is available at Black Drug Rehab from Long Island Interventions.
Long Island Interventions offers specialized treatment for Black Addiction in Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us now to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced addiction professional. We are here to serve you 24/7.