02 Apr Black Urban Communities Face Opioid Disparity
America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, which is why Integrated Pain Consultants prioritizes conservative pain management and offers a variety of pain relief options. Some communities are facing a large disparity when it comes to battling the epidemic, and black urban communities are at a higher risk of opioid abuse and overdoses than other populations. According to Dr. Edwin Chapman at Medical Home Development Group in Washington D.C., “The urban African American community is dying now at a faster rate than the epidemic in suburbs and rural areas.” In his clinic, there have been times when overdoses occur directly outside the building.
D.C.’s Office of the Medical Examiner reports that opioid deaths within the 40 – 69 age range of black men spiked 245 percent between 2014 and 2017. On a national scale, the opioid death rates are also skyrocketing within this demographic. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), black men between 40 – 69 years old in urban areas faced opioid-related death increases of 41 percent from 2015 – 2016.
Like most who struggle with opioid addiction and overdoses, the primary drug culprit is fentanyl. It’s much stronger than heroin, and is used to create a synthetic opioid. On the street, it’s sometimes laced with heroin and other drugs. In some cases, lifelong recreational heroin users are dying at a fast rate because fentanyl is so much more potent and they underestimate its strength.
How The Opioid Addiction Started
The opioid addiction started mainly in white suburbs with drugs such as OxyContin. According to Dr. Chapman, blacks have traditionally been less likely to be prescribed narcotics for pain management. “The theory is that African-Americans tolerate pain better—that’s a myth,” he says.
He believes drug addiction is similar to a chronic disease and specializes in providing safer medications that can keep opioid cravings in check. Dr. Chapman is one of just a few doctors who is allowed by the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe Suboxone, but is legally only allowed to treat a maximum of 275 patients per year with the opioid crave stopper (due to federally treatment cap laws).
Contact Integrated Pain Consultants, Scottsdale
The reality of the potency of opioids is becoming widely known. The good news is that more and more patients are aware of the risks of addiction and seeking out alternatives. Unfortunately, many clinics are still quick to offer opioids instead of alternatives. Integrated Pain Consultants offers a variety of alternative options for pain management, many of which are drug-free. Find out more by booking an appointment online or calling (480) 626-2552 today.