Report: Overdose death rate ‘significantly higher’ for Blacks in Allegheny County – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2021-09-24 10:30:54 –

Doctors, officials say help is available

Dr. Scott Cook is everywhere in town when it comes to addiction recovery centers.

And as an African-American, he saw thousands of people and helped thousands overcome their drug and alcoholism.

The only problem he told New Pittsburgh Courier: Most patients are not black.

“I’ve been to many outpatient locations, some inpatient locations,” said Dr. Cook. “In the last decade, I’ve seen less than 100 black patients, but I’ve seen 10,000 white patients.”

For decades, the word “opioid” has been associated with “whites.” This is a white problem. But whether it’s heroin, fentanyl, or a prescription drug such as oxycontin, bicodin, morphine, or methadone, doctors and therapists are trying to tell you that it’s a black problem.

A study published on September 9, in collaboration with the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Substance Abuse, analyzed overdose data and death certificates from four states (Kentucky, Ohio, Massachusetts, and New York). Did. The opioid mortality rate for African Americans was found to have increased by 38% between 2018 and 2019. Prices for other racial groups did not rise.

“Because crack cocaine appears in the movie, you’ll think it’s the main drug used primarily by African Americans,” Dr. Cook told Courier exclusively. “We use opioids in the same proportions as white opioids. It is considered by society to be a white problem. We need to increase the number of African American patients because of the problem. , I haven’t got any help. “

The study found that the mortality rate of opioid overdose in African Americans increased from 31.3 to 43.2. per 100,000 adults.

It is the presence of fentanyl, a very powerful synthetic opioid commonly found in heroin, that contributes to the increased mortality from overdose in blacks. And that’s happening near the house. In 2020, 84% (584) of deaths from overdose in Allegheny County were associated with fentanyl. Compare with 2014, when fentanyl-related overdose accounted for only 33 percent of 424 overdose deaths in the county. The findings prompted Mayor Bill Peduto to sign an executive order calling for the use of the fentanyl test strip. Fentanyl test strips prevent opioid overdose and are injectables, powders and pills. Mayor Peduto also said on August 31 that the city’s Regional Health and Safety Department will work with city employees and the general public to educate them about the benefits of these life-saving tools and reduce the stigma associated with owning them. I ordered.

The mayor’s presidential order states that overdose mortality rates for black residents in Allegheny County are “significantly higher” than for white residents, “which deepens racial inequality”, and that black men He emphasized that he experienced a “200% increase” in mortality from overdose from the third. The quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019.

Throughout Pennsylvania, authorities warned of the fact that black overdose deaths surged 63% between 2018 and 2020. For Caucasians, it increased by only 5 percent.

“Limited access to medical resources to treat opioid use disorders and inadequate community infrastructure (unreliable transportation, food and housing instability, inadequate insurance coverage, etc.) It contributes to the disproportionate increase in deaths from opioid overdose in blacks in the United States. In an article published in the online publication Everyday Health, director of Harm Reduction Services and Medical at Massachusetts University in Springfield. Dr. William Soares, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at School Bay State, said.

“If you’re a black-American and have an opioid use disorder, you’re much less likely to be prescribed an opioid use disorder drug,” said Dr. Nora Volko, director of the National Substance Abuse Institute. Added in a public radio report. ..

Dr. Edwin Chapman has been a drug addict expert in Washington, DC for decades. As an African-American, he has been at the forefront of warning the public that the issue of the white suburbs, which once attracted the attention of Congress, has become an issue of the black city center that no one wants to discuss.

In a 2018 WAMU (Washington, DC) radio report, Dr. Chapman mentioned the building of the Medical Home Development Group, which he leads in DC, saying that “people other than those who sell drugs may get together.” Right outside the building, right under the building, right next to the building. “

“People who used heroin for life are dying because they don’t understand how to titrate those doses,” added Dr. Melissa Clark, who also works at the building. “That’s a big part of the challenge. It’s always impossible for addicts to know the benefits of street drugs, but now it’s even more dangerous because of the mixture of fentanyl.” It feels like there’s a fire underneath — people are dying every day. “

In St. Louis, Missouri, Courier also learned that black men are four times more likely to die from overdose than white men after a 33% increase in black overdose deaths in 2020. ..

Dr. Cook, a 1984 Alderdis High School graduate with a PhD in Medicine from Drexel University in Philadelphia in 1998, is one of the region’s leading African-American physicians specializing in addiction medicine and recovery. .. He is currently the medical director of the Recovery Centers of America–Monroeville, with 138 beds available for inpatient services and outpatient services. He and the center’s CEO, Michael Ogden, told Courier that he was obsessed with treating more African Americans. African-Americans “deserve the same level of care as others in the United States,” Ogden said.

Ogden also uncovers the myth that regular private insurance often covers the cost of regular treatment at recovery centers and elsewhere in the United States, and professional addiction treatment is too expensive. Said. For those without insurance, some outpatient services are covered by Medicaid and there are community health centers throughout the region that offer low cost addiction treatment.

Dr. Cook said that when it comes to addiction, there is a perception that blacks simply need to “handle” it, rather than getting the professional help often given to white responders.

“I believe we should pray for everything. Go to the minister. It’s great because it’s an element of recovery,” Dr. Cook, a former minister before becoming a doctor, told Courier exclusively. .. “But we have to do more. We also wipe things out under the rug. Instead of saying that when I was a kid, Uncle Bob was in jail, they said he was south. Well, Uncle Bob had been going south for about five years. He wasn’t going south, he was in jail. You need to start talking about the problem. The problem under the rug. It doesn’t wipe out. It certainly relies on spirituality, but it’s not the only one. “

SCOTT COOK, MD is one of the leading addiction medicine doctors in the region. He urges African-Americans suffering from drug and alcoholism to seek professional help. (Photo by Rob Taylor Jr.)

Report: Overdose death rate ‘significantly higher’ for Blacks in Allegheny County Source link Report: Overdose death rate ‘significantly higher’ for Blacks in Allegheny County

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