Opioid Epidemic Is Hitting White Men the Hardest

In 2014, prescription opioid overdoses killed nearly 19,000 people in the United Stated. This comes as a direct result of increased opioids prescribing by doctors. As a comparison, the average American takes 195 milligrams of hydrocodone (being the active ingredient in OxyContin and Vicodin), in one year, while the average German consumes 28 milligrams annually.

The doctors, most of which are statistically white, are more likely to provide opioid prescriptions to whites compared to blacks in many situations, especially in cases of suspicion that the patient is seeking drugs. This behavior alone contributes to fast dispersion of opioid addiction epidemic among whites far more than blacks.

A study of the Boston University’s dental school concluded that both non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites with fractures, toothaches or kidney stones (or “definitive” conditions visible by a doctor) were equally being given prescription for opioids. However, in cases of “non-definitive” conditions, racial disparities surfaced, resulting with African Americans being 33% less likely to receive a prescribed opioid compared to whites. This difference in percentages is still consistent even if the numbers are adjusted in terms of socio-economic variables, like income. As part of the study, it is also found that the pharmacies in minority ethnic communities have lower opioid supplies altogether, as compared to the pharmacies in higher-end white communities.

When it comes to white opioids users, prescription opioids are acting as a gateway drug to heroin, thus only enhancing the opioid addiction epidemic. One study compiled of two surveys found that the percentage of whites who had abused prescription opioids increased from 35.8% to 52.8%. Amazingly and yet not unexpectedly, the percentage for non-white users decreased.

Opioid Epidemic In White Men

On the other hand, in 2001-2002 alone, 36% of white heroin users said they had used prescription opioids before. Now, staggering 53% of them reported that they had used prescription opioids before. Needless to say, there’s a huge connection between prescription opioids and opioid addiction epidemic.

Common Treatment For Opioid Addiction

The treatment for opioid addiction varies from one person to another, however the main result of each treatment is to help you to stop using drugs (or detox) and support you in avoid using it in the future (or avoid relapse).

Obviously, the first step is to admit the problem and check yourself into a medical facility for opioid addiction treatment. What you should expect later is a series of blood tests and examination, followed by administering medicines, like methadone – most often used for heroin addiction, Subutex, Clonidine or Naltrexone that will help you with the severity of your withdrawal symptoms and control the cravings.

Once the first phase of the treatment for opioid addiction is done (detox), a series of behavioral treatments will follow, like individual, group or family counseling, in combination with cognitive therapy, helping you to cope with depression, deal with cravings, avoid relapse, and heal all relationships. In short, these is the most common treatment for opioid addiction today.

Are you ready to take the first step towards opioid addiction treatment and start a better life? Call us at 855-638-9268 today.



Nelly Botezatu


Nelly Botezatu is a doctoral student in Economics. She enjoys learning new subjects, discovering trends, insights and data relationships. After studying the fundamentals of graphic design, she now presents her data analysis via infographics. She strives to add to the body of online knowledge for our clients.


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