Cocaine, opioids cause spike in African-American deaths

Mixtures of opioids with drugs like cocaine, and a spike in deaths especially among African-Americans have officials worried the opioid crisis could get much worse.

“People have to know that drugs don’t have a race. Drugs don’t discriminate,” says Jessica Horne, executive director of UMADAOP–a long acronym for Urban Minority Alcoholism Drug Abuse Program.

There’s a good chance that a lot of the information you’ve heard about the ‘opioid crisis’ at-large has reinforced an idea that the crisis is hitting large numbers of white victims.

And it is.

But that’s not all.

“If you look at the media the new face of addiction is white,” Horne says. “We took a flyer out that the signs were everywhere. And there was a guy standing on the corner and I handed him the flyer and he said, ‘what you giving that to me…that ain’t none of our problem.’ And I was like, wow.”

Fentanyl is a powerful, synthentic opioid now being mixed with heroin, with cocaine, with methamphetamine. But in many cases people don’t know they’re taking fentanyl, and Horne says there’s no honor among dealers to say something.

Aired April 11, 2018.

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