Blacks Less Likely to Abuse Alcohol

Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics

FRIDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Black adults are less likely to drink alcohol or binge drink than other adults, a federal government study shows.

An analysis of data from 2004 to 2008 found that 44.3% of blacks aged 18 and older drink alcohol, compared with that national average of 55.2%. The rate of binge drinking among black adults is 21.7%, compared with the national average of 24.5%. Young black adults (aged 18 to 25) are much less likely to binge drink than young adults in the general population (25.3% vs. 41.6%), according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration study.

However, the rate of binge drinking among pregnant black women aged 18 to 44 is 8.1%, compared to the national average of 3.6%. The study also found that the rate of illicit drug abuse among black adults is 9.5%, while the national average is 7.9%. This difference is most pronounced among male adults aged 26 and older. For example, 14.7% of black adults aged 26 to 49 use illicit drugs, compared with 11.2% of the general population in this age group.

Among the other findings:

  • About 1.1 million black adults (4.4%) needed treatment for an illicit drug use problem in the past year, compared with the national average of 2.9%.
  • Nearly one-quarter (24.2%) of black adults in need of treatment received it at a special facility, compared with the national average of 19.2%.

The findings are based on an analysis of data collected in SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

-- Robert Preidt

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, news release, Feb. 25, 2010

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