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Opioid Addiction: Impact on Black and African American Communities in Ohio

July 28 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Opioid Addiction
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Opioid Addiction: Impact on Black and African American Communities in Ohio


A Community Conversation with Dr. Shantel Thomas


The opioid epidemic has not traditionally focused on African American communities. Yet, they are experiencing dramatic increases in opioid misuse and overdose deaths. The rise of African American drug overdose deaths between 2015-2016 was 40 percent compared to the overall population increase at 21 percent, exceeding all other racial and ethnic population groups in the United States.


From 2011-2016, African Americans had the highest increase in overdose death rate for opioid deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl. In 2017, Death rates for non-Hispanic Blacks involving synthetic opioids increased by 818 percent. These rates were the highest for non-Hispanic Blacks compared to all other races/ethnicities.


Nationally, Black people are less likely than whites to get specialized addiction treatment. Black people are also less likely than whites to get the prescribed treatment medication buprenorphine, a more convenient alternative to methadone that requires minimal-to-no in-clinic, supervised administration.


Ohio continues to be one of the states most affected by the nation’s opioid crisis, and the rate of overdose deaths among African Americans, who make up 27% of Hamilton County’s population, is now running even with the rate among the white people, which makes up 68% of county residents.


Join IV-CHARIS and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) for another installment of our Community Conversation Series with Opioid Addiction: Impact on Black and African American Communities in Ohio.


Shantel Thomas, Ph.D., President & CEO of A Sound Mind Counseling Service, will discuss opioid use among African Americans in Ohio, magnified by the stress and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Thomas will share the best way for faith leaders to address opioid use among African Americans in Ohio as a public health crisis.


Discussion topics are as follows:

  • Routes to opioid misuse and overdose deaths in Black/African American communities
  • Barriers to treatment
  • Separate and unequal prevention and treatment
  • Lack of culturally responsive and respectful care
  • The stigma associated with opioid misuse and fear of legal consequences
  •  Opioid use awareness and trauma, epidemic and impact on our community


Mark your calendars for Opioid Addiction: Impact on African American Communities in Ohio via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82855036895. All are welcome to attend – bring your thoughts and questions, and let’s talk this out!


For updates on this event, please follow IV-CHARIS on Instagram @back2basicsandivcharis and Facebook @B2BCrusade. For more information, contact Alysia Longmire at ‪513-240-2642 or email alysialongmire1@outlook.com.


Funding for this project was made possible (in part) by the Ohio State Opiate Response (SOR) – 1H79TI083294-01 grant from SAMHSA.


The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 797979.

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July 28
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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