Cases of alcohol abuse, are no doubt, increasing by leaps and bounds every year. This is particularly true for the African-American community, which constitutes around 12% of the total population in America. It is estimated that almost 27% of those who make use of publicly funded substance abuse treatment facilities, are members of this community.
Unfortunately, even today, many whites treat African-Americans as a racial group, rather than a cultural one. They are constantly made to feel like outsiders, having a value system different from the accepted American one. Although, over the years this kind of racial discrimination has reduced substantially, it is still there, enough to be visible.
Problems like poverty, illiteracy and declining living standards are particularly pronounced in this community. Psychological and material factors, combined with the high and easy availability of alcohol only deepen the crisis.
It would be wrong to assume that only African Americans living in pathetic economic conditions are the ones who are suffering from alcohol abuse. Even African Americans who live in cities, form a considerable portion of the abusive drinking population. They experience the same stress and pressures of an urban lifestyle as their white counterparts and use alcohol as a means to escape from the tensions of life. The amazing speed at which liqor stores are sprouting all over the country, also facilitate the heavy use of alcohol.
Another dilemma facing those who suffer from abusive drinking problems within this community, are insufficient health insurance schemes and restricted social welfare policies. This makes it very difficult for most of the African-American abusive drinkers to make use of the various treatment programs available. As a result, there is a growing demand for programs which specifically cater to the needs of cultural and economic minority groups and which are economically feasible for the low income groups.
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