Black History Month

February is Black History Month. This presents an opportunity to shine a light on the toll that substance use and mental health disorders can have on Black/African American communities. While occurrence rates are similar in all populations, quality treatment options are less accessible for Black/African Americans. The rate of increase of Black/African American drug overdose deaths between 2015-2016 was 40 percent compared to the overall population increase at 21 percent. Black/African American populations also face double stigma, that of being in a racial minority and the stigma related to substance use and mental health disorders. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers explanations for why these disparities occur and what may help. The website also includes a comprehensive list of resources available for Black/African Americans in your community that may be struggling with substance use or mental health disorders.