Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

African Americans and Addiction, Research Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1961

Research Paper

History

It is believed that the first African slaves came to America (Virginia) in 1619. A large percentage of African Americans living in the United States are descendants of Africans who were captured and brought to America. Those who are descendants of ancestors from the Caribbean are also considered African American because they share African roots of West African or Central Africa. Through the years, African Americans have been called by many names from Negro, to colored, to blacks, and finally African Americans. Blacks were taken from their homes in Africa and sold into the world of slavery on plantations. The slave population on the American plantations was made up of persons from mostly central and western African countries (Leary, 2005). Once slaves came to America, their traditions, native language, and sense of belonging were eradicated. Slaves formed a new culture that was a combination of what they knew before and what they were taught in America. Less than 100 years after the first African slave was brought to America, the slave population had risen to 25, 000. This equated to about 10 percent of the colonies’ population (Leary, 2005). Over time, slaves sought freedom and many fled north using the Underground Railroad. Eventually, a population of free blacks began to form. At the beginning of the American Revolution, many free black men participated. These free black men fought alongside other white soldiers. Between 1840 and1860, abolitionist began to emerge and demand freedom and rights in America. Free blacks settled in northern states establishing black communities. They initiated churches and Free Masons organizations. When blacks were freed after the Civil War, many blacks lived in poverty situation. Yet, many were able to start businesses and other ways of providing for their families. Although freed, blacks continued to fight racial discrimination during the early and mid 1900s with the enactment of Jim Crow laws. Jim Crow laws mandated segregation of blacks and whites. Many of these laws and other forms of scare tactics were enforced by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Members of the Klan hid their identities behind face hoods. By the 1950s, blacks were demanding equal rights and privileges by participating in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, African Americans have equal rights, but are still suffering from the generational effects of slavery (Leary, 2005).

Why Africans Came to America

The majority of African Americans in America did not choose to come to America. Africans were kidnapped and brought to American against their will. Slavery destroyed families, cultures, and the very being of each slave it touched. The threat of family separation was a constant fear for the slave. Slaves must have questioned why love anyone or anything because at any point it could possibly be taken away. Pargas commented on how no slave was assured that his/her family would not be separated. In fact, some slave masters used the threat of separating families as a way to control their slaves. Historians have been debating for years over the extent to which slavery destroyed the culture and stability of black families. Often, slave families were separated when a slave master died, went bankrupt, or some slaves were simply deeded to family members (Pargas, 2010). Being a slave equated to a lack of the needed daily necessities. The deplorable conditions of slavery are clearly displayed in the manner in which children are treated depicted in many slave narratives. For example, Frederick Douglas described his life as a child slave. Although Douglass admits that he was seldom whipped, he suffered greatly from hunger and cold. He says:

“I was seldom whipped by my old master, and suffered little from anything else than hunger and cold. I suffered much from hunger, but much more from cold. In hottest summer and coldest winter, I was kept almost naked—no shoes, no stockings, no jacket, no trousers, nothing on but a coarse tow linen shirt, reaching only to my knees. I had no bed.” (Gates, 1987).

Douglass goes on to explain how he would steal a sack to sleep in on the very cold night. He would sleep with his head inside the sack and his feet protruding from the opening of the sack. A technique that left his feet exposed to the cold. Due to this exposure he said that his feet became severely cracked by the frost. He explained that the gashes were so deep he could place a writing pen within them. Later he discussed the conditions of the way in which they ate. They ate a substance called mush, which was boiled cornmeal. It was dumped in wooden troughs; the same type troughs that pigs ate from. The slaves ate with their hands or just put their entire heads in the troughs just as the animals did. The slave that could eat the fastest got the most. Consequently, children were often hungry because they could not eat as fast as their older counterparts.

Incidence and Prevalence

The United States is comprised of 44.5 million African Americans. That equates to about 15 percent of the United States Population. Substance abuse reports of African Americans are higher than most population groups on American, but their rate of use of alcohol is lower than some groups. The incidence of crack use is higher among blacks than any other. Researchers have linked the higher rates of murder and incarceration of blacks to the use of crack cocaine. Researchers have also noted that the high school drop-out rates among blacks have increased with the increase of crack cocaine use. Between 40-73 percent of black drop-out rates are linked to crack cocaine use. Use of crack cocaine in the black community has increased the murder rates, likelihood of prison time, and selling of cocaine to produce income within the home. The consequence is lack of adequate education. The idea of fast money leads many blacks to sell drugs rather than apply themselves in school (Harrison et al, 1990).

For example:

“The rate of illegal drug use among African Americans ages 12 and up in 2013 was 10.5 percent, up from 8.7 percent in 2003. The rate of binge drinking (drinking five or more drinks on a single occasion for men) among African Americans ages 12 and up was 20.1 percent—compared with the national average of 22.9 percent. African Americans ages 12 to 20 in 2013 reported past-month alcohol use at a rate of 17.8 percent, compared with the national average of 22.7 percent. Past-month underage binge drinking was 8.4% for African American youth, while the national average was 14.2 percent” (Hansen, et al, 2005).

Many people who have crack addictions have also been diagnosed with mental illness. People who suffer from mental illnesses like anxiety, paranoia, dysphoria, and even anorexia may use crack cocaine as a method of coping. Hansen stated:

“Psychiatric comorbidity among cocaine dependent users is not only increased for other substance disorders, but also for personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depressive disorders. However, there remains a paucity of research evidence concerning the association of mental health problems with the complex interaction of length of cocaine use, the social context and the route of use” (Hansen, et al, 2005).

Chronic cocaine use has been linked to serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Researchers believe that prolonged crack use can lead to decrease brain activity leading to other forms of mental illness. The use of crack cocaine blocks neurotransmitters and prevents brain cells from communicating with one another. Both crack users and schizophrenia patients have less gray matter in various areas of the brain. Baumer believes that persons using crack cocaine are more likely to display violent tendencies. Usually, this violent tendency is directed at members of the addict’s family (Baumer, 1994).

Intervention Program

African Americans have great difficulty with intervention programs; recovery depends upon the addict’s willingness to accept help. Having the support of family members and friends has proven beneficial for blacks suffering from addiction. Unfortunately, this is not always the case because most addicts admit that their families have given up hope that they will recover. Consequently, they have been out casted by family members.  When this is the case, the addict needs a superficial support system to help him/her. The greatest obstacle that addicts face is that they have no money or insurance to pay for a treatment programs. Having access to programs that can provide funding for treatment is essential. There are many free programs available, but the wait period is often very lengthy. Some waiting periods can be as long as a year and for an addict that could mean death. Many addicts have better success when they enter a detox program prior to entering an in-patient facility. After completion of an inpatient programs, those recovering addicts who participate in outpatient services have greater success than those who do not. Often, intervention programs help to relocate recovering addicts because being in familiar environments can often lead to relapse. Consequently, therapist believes that recovering addicts have a better chance at sobriety if they relocate.

Conclusion

Many Americans suffer from crack addiction. Addiction to crack is both an emotional and psychological issue.  Some people with drug addiction may intentionally or unintentionally hurt themselves or others. Often people suffering from crack addiction may threaten to hurt themselves. Some people suffering from crack addiction are unable to attend to their basic needs of clothing, eating, maintaining shelter because all of their financial means are used to buy the drug.  Drug or alcohol dependency may also stem from an underlying mental illness.  Sadly, many people who suffer from drug addiction are denial about their conditions. Many of them do not believe they are ill and refuse to seek or receive help.  It is best for the state to intervene and force people who are suffering from extreme drug addiction to receive treatment.  Crack addicts often suffer from anxiety because they fear life without access to the drug. For many blacks, crack addiction is a dual issue that stems from an underlying mental illness. When a person is unable to care for themselves, at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, or cannot provide adequate day to day living accommodations, forced treatment should be enforced. By forcing them to go into treatment, the addict may be able to provide these accommodations for themselves.  Although to many, it may seem that forcing treatment upon drug addicts is an infringement of rights; however, it is a risk to society to allow addicts to possibly hurt others. It is also an atrocity to continue putting mentally ill /drug addicted people in prisons for crimes they have committed. Often mentally ill /drug addicts live their lives in and out of jails and other have lived most of their adult lives in prison. The greater good is to medicate these individuals.  In order to addiction, healthcare providers must help the addict to address the underlying cause of the addiction. Being labeled as mentally ill or a crack addict is a stigma that African Americans are trying to avoid. Although crack is one of the most addictive drugs known to mankind, recovery is possible.

References

Baumer, Eric P. (1994).  Poverty, Crack, and Crime: A Cross-City Analysis. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 31. 311-327.

Gates, Henry Louis. The Classic Slave Narratives. New York: Signet Classic, 1987.

Haasen, C., Prinzleve, M., Gossop, M., Fisher, G., Casas, M., & The Cocaine-eu Team(2005). Relationship between cocaine use and mental health problems in a sample of European cocaine powder or crack users. World Psychiatry4(3), 173–176.

Harrison, A., Wilson, M., Pine, C., Chan, S., & Buriel, R. (1990). Family ecologies of ethnic minority children. Child Development, 61, 347-362.

Leary, J.D. (2005). Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s legacy of enduring injury and healing. Milwaukie, OR: Uptone Press.

Pargas, D. A. ( 2010,) Disposing of Human Property: American Slave Families and Forced Separation in Comparative Perspective. Journal of Family History 34, 251-274. 2010

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Research Paper Samples & Examples

Media Account Analysis: National Geographic, Research Paper Example

National Geographic is an established Instagram account with over 241 million followers. In all its posts, National Geographic focuses on oceans, land, wildlife, human ingenuity, [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 567

Research Paper

Health Reasons for Abortion, Research Paper Example

Abortion remains one of the most controversial subjects in the world, as some people support that it should be freedom while others believe it is [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 720

Research Paper

Indigenous Caribbean Art, Research Paper Example

Introduction The portrayal of cultural characteristics that are important to the populations that are native to that location is a common feature of the indigenous [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2341

Research Paper

Jean Lamarr, Research Paper Example

Introduction Different cultures have different ways of fostering creativity and imagination. However, since people might be impacted by values and norms from different cultures, artists [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1511

Research Paper

The Oppression of Indigenous People in Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas, Research Paper Example

Introduction Colonization perpetrated the oppression of indigenous communities. Also, the struggle against cultural imperialism lay at the heart of oppression as the culture of native [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 2029

Research Paper

Reviled and Loved Prompt, Research Paper Example

Introduction The media and channels of communication are vital in passing information in a society (Lovari et al., 2020, p315-p328). The information is specifically addressed [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 1948

Research Paper

Media Account Analysis: National Geographic, Research Paper Example

National Geographic is an established Instagram account with over 241 million followers. In all its posts, National Geographic focuses on oceans, land, wildlife, human ingenuity, [...]

Pages: 2

Words: 567

Research Paper

Health Reasons for Abortion, Research Paper Example

Abortion remains one of the most controversial subjects in the world, as some people support that it should be freedom while others believe it is [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 720

Research Paper

Indigenous Caribbean Art, Research Paper Example

Introduction The portrayal of cultural characteristics that are important to the populations that are native to that location is a common feature of the indigenous [...]

Pages: 9

Words: 2341

Research Paper

Jean Lamarr, Research Paper Example

Introduction Different cultures have different ways of fostering creativity and imagination. However, since people might be impacted by values and norms from different cultures, artists [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1511

Research Paper

The Oppression of Indigenous People in Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas, Research Paper Example

Introduction Colonization perpetrated the oppression of indigenous communities. Also, the struggle against cultural imperialism lay at the heart of oppression as the culture of native [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 2029

Research Paper

Reviled and Loved Prompt, Research Paper Example

Introduction The media and channels of communication are vital in passing information in a society (Lovari et al., 2020, p315-p328). The information is specifically addressed [...]

Pages: 7

Words: 1948

Research Paper

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!