Examining Addiction in Minorities

Examining Addiction in Minorities during National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Recovery Unplugged stands in solidarity with all minority communities as we celebrate 2021 Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This event was established to raise awareness, advocacy and support to minority communities all over the country who are facing mental health challenges, such as depression anxiety and substance use disorder (SUD):

  • Over 7 million Americans who identify as Black or African American struggled with mental illness in the past year, representing 16 percent of the total population.
  • Over 58 percent of Black Americans with serious mental illness (SMI) do not receive treatment.
  • 15 percent of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other and Pacific Islanders struggle with mental illness.
  • More than 1 in 5 women in the United States experienced a mental health condition in the past year, such as depression or anxiety.
  • Over 39 percent of those who identify as LGBTQ+ struggle with mental illness each year.
  • Serious mental illness (SMI) rose from 4 percent to 6.4 percent in Latinx/Hispanic people ages 18-25, and from 2.2 percent to 3.9 percent in the 26-49 age range between 2008 and 2018.

Addiction in Minority Communities

The rates of addiction in minority populations fluctuate, but can often be linked to socioeconomic factors and embedded prejudices. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA)’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity indicates:

  • Over 142,000 (10 percent) of the American Indian and Alaskan Native population struggles with substance use disorder.
  • Over 745,000 (4.8 percent) of Americans who identify as Asian, Native Hawaiian or another population of Pacific Islanders struggle with SUD.
  • Over 3 million (7.6 percent) of African Americans currently battle addiction.
  • Over 9 million (7 percent) of Hispanic Americans are battling addiction.
  • Over 6 million (18.3 percent) of LGBTQ+ Americans are currently battling SUD.

At the same time, these populations face consistent barriers to treatment access that can help improve their mental health and quality of life. Events like Minority Mental Health Month help to highlight the root causes and systemic factors that contribute to these issues and provide avenues of awareness and empowerment to marginalized populations.

Recovery Unplugged strives to make treatment more accessible to all who need it, including people from historically underserved communities, and we’re committed to offering expert and quality guidance to you or your loved one if you’re struggling with addiction. Learn more about how you can get involved in Minority Mental Health Awareness Month this year.