IMPLICIT BIASES IN doctor’s offices and elsewhere in health care are likely drivers behind stark racial and class divides in drug addiction and overdose deaths in California, a new study suggests.
While affecting people across race and ethnicity, the opioid crisis gripping the nation has been concentrated largely among low-income whites, and has been labeled a problem primarily of public health, not of criminal justice. The epidemic is thought to have been touched off by a combination of social factors – including trauma, poverty and a lack of economic opportunity – and the widespread availability of prescription opioids beginning in the 1990s.
The new study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, indicates the health care field has had a hand in driving the epidemic that goes beyond merely dispensing prescription drugs, suggesting that differing access to and within the system has resulted in rampant addiction among low-income whites as well as a sea of untreated pain in minority communities.
Source: US News.com – February 11, 2019