Behavioral Health and Black/African Americans
From the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2010
Substance Use in Black/African Americans
- Rates of past month alcohol use and binge alcohol use were lower among black adults aged 18 or older than the national average for adults (44.3 vs. 55.2 percent and 21.7 vs. 24.5 percent, respectively); the rate of past month illicit drug use, however, was higher among black adults than the national average (9.5 vs. 7.9 percent).
- Compared with the national average for adolescents aged 12 to 17, black adolescents had lower rates of past month cigarette use (5.8 vs. 10.2 percent), alcohol use (10.5 vs. 16.0 percent), marijuana use (6.5 vs. 6.9 percent), and nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs (2.9 vs. 3.3 percent). The rate of marijuana use among black adolescents increased from 5.9 percent in 2008 to 7.5 percent in 2010.
- One in seven (14.2 percent) black adults in need of alcohol treatment in the past year and 24.2 percent of those in need of illicit drug treatment received treatment at a specialty facility; both of these rates were higher than the national averages for adults. The rate of need for treatment for an alcohol use problem in the past year among black adults was similar to that of the national average among adults (7.7 and 8.1 percent); however, the rate of need for treatment for an illicit drug use problem was higher among blacks than the national average (4.4 vs. 2.9 percent)
Mental Health in Black/African Americans
- In 2010, 19.7 percent of Black or African Americans aged 18 or older had a mental illness within that year. With regards to serious mental illness, 4.4 percent of Black or African American ages 18 or older suffered from a serious mental illness in 2010.
- Black or African Americans (Non-Hispanic), aged 18-26, had the lowest percentage of any mental illness in the past year compared to their racial/ethnic counterparts at 25.8 percent.
- Black or African Americans (Non-Hispanic) persons, aged 12-17, had the highest percentage for receiving mental health services from an inpatient or residential treatment setting compared to their racial/ethnic counterparts at 3.7 percent. However, for outpatient settings they have the second lowest percentage, second to Asians.
SAMHSA Mental Health and Substance Abuse Data and Educational Resources
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities Center for Excellence (HBCU-CFE): The goals of HBCU-CFE are to 1) Promote student behavioral health to positively impact student retention; 2) Expand campus service capacity, including the provision of culturally appropriate behavioral health resources; 3) Facilitate best practices dissemination and behavioral health workforce development.
- The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH): Provides national and state-level data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs (including non-medical use of prescription drugs) and mental health in the United States. The following NSDUH reports have a specific focus on African American populations:
- Drugs, Alcohol, and HIV/AIDS: A Consumer Guide for African Americans: Designed to increase awareness among African American consumers about the link between HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. It explains the increased risk of HIV transmission and the importance of treatment for alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and HIV/AIDS.
- What a Difference a Friend Makes: Stories that Heal: A website that includes real-life stories and resources to help in the recovery process for people living with mental health problems and their friends and family.
Federal Initiatives and Resources
Additional Behavioral Health Resources
More Behavioral Health Resources