Addictions Are Harder to Kick When You’re Poor. Here’s Why

THE GUARDIAN (06/01) – Addiction does discriminate: it hits hardest those who are already down or feel that they will never be able to rise. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, crack cocaine, which was prevalent and visible in poor black communities, was said to be a great threat to the white middle class. In many black communities, before crack took off, unemployment rates had been high and rising, driven by the decline in manufacturing jobs and biased hiring and firing practices. But where jobs had more stability, and where drug users weren’t victims of the “war on drugs” policing push, the long-predicted spread to the leafy suburbs never happened. While white youth took plenty of cocaine, addiction rates didn’t skyrocket. And when middle-class youths did get hooked, their recoveries were quicker. Read more

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