Click to see the modal popup.

Black or African American

Behavioral Health Equity

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

Federal Initiatives and Resources

Additional Behavioral Health Resources

More Behavioral Health Resources

Connect with SAMHSA
Get connected with SAMHSA by following us through these services: