Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another Stereotype Bites The Dust: New Study Reveals Black Teen Drug Use Among Lowest in U.S.



You know that pervasive image of the saggy pants, doo-rag wearing, Black teenager who spends his days smoking weed at the corner store that inundates our televisions, movie screens and fallacious eye-witness descriptions?

Cancel it.

A recent study to be released in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry finds that Black and Asian teens are much less likely to use drugs and alcohol than teens of other ethnicities.

Much. Less. Likely.

Adolescents aged 12 to 17 were surveyed and 37 percent reported using alcohol or drugs in the past year --- 7.9 percent met criteria that would identify them as having a substance-related disorder. Defined by this study as symptoms that would interfere with social functioning, work or school, and if obtaining the substance becomes a priority.

Other findings include:

  • 48 percent of Native American teens reported drug use
  • 39 percent of white teens reported drug use
  • 37 percent of Hispanics teens reported drug use
  • 36 percent of multi-racial adolescents reported drug use
  • 32 percent of African-American teens reported drug use
  • Nearly 24 percent of Asians reported drug use

While even one teen abusing drugs is one too many, the fact remains that Black youth have been demonized as the most rampant drug users in the United States and this study shatters that perception.

"There is certainly still a myth out there that black kids are more likely to have problems with drugs than white kids, and this documents as clearly as any study we're aware of that the rate of ... substance-related disorders among African American youths is significantly lower," Dan Blazer from Duke's Department of Psychiatry, a senior author of the study, told the Raleigh News & Observer.

Of the teens that use drugs, marijuana continues it’s reign as the go to substance with 13 percent of teens reporting usage in the last year. Prescription pain killers trailed behind at 7 percent.

According to a separate study released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 90 percent of U.S. substance abusers began using before they turned eighteen.

This study shows the world what we’ve known all along, but is rarely portrayed in the media: Black families take care of, are concerned with and monitor their children’s actions --- despite odds and circumstances that would dictate otherwise.

Pat yourselves on the back parents… now back to work! We still have to work on that 32 percent.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

This article is an informative which proves the wrong belief of other people. Black teens are not as bad as people sees them, they are also humans and nonetheless they don’t deserve being treated badly because of racial discrimination.