White opioids: Pharmaceutical race and the war on drugs that wasn't.
ABSTRACT: The US 'War on Drugs' has had a profound role in reinforcing racial hierarchies. Although Black Americans are no more likely than Whites to use illicit drugs, they are 6-10 times more likely to be incarcerated for drug offenses. Meanwhile, a very different system for responding to the drug use of Whites has emerged. This article uses the recent history of White opioids - the synthetic opiates such as OxyContin® that gained notoriety starting in the 1990s in connection with epidemic prescription medication abuse among White, suburban and rural Americans and Suboxone® that came on the market as an addiction treatment in the 2000s - to show how American drug policy is racialized, using the lesser known lens of decriminalized White drugs. Examining four 'technologies of whiteness' (neuroscience, pharmaceutical technology, legislative innovation and marketing), we trace a separate system for categorizing and disciplining drug use among Whites. This less examined 'White drug war' has carved out a less punitive, clinical realm for Whites where their drug use is decriminalized, treated primarily as a biomedical disease, and where their whiteness is preserved, leaving intact more punitive systems that govern the drug use of people of color.
Project description:There are concerns over nonmedical use of prescription stimulants among youths, but little is known about the extent of use among young Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (NHs/PIs), and mixed-race individuals-the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population. We examined prevalences and correlates of nonmedical stimulant use (NMSU) and disorder (StiUD) for these underrecognized groups. Whites were included as a comparison. Data were from young individuals aged 12-34 years in the 2005-2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. We used logistic regression to estimate odds of past-year NMSU status. Significant yearly increases in lifetime NMSU prevalence were noted in Whites only. NHs/PIs (lifetime 7.33%, past-year 2.72%) and mixed-race individuals (10.20%, 2.82%) did not differ from Whites in NMSU prevalence (11.68%, 3.15%). Asian-Americans (lifetime 3.83%, past-year 0.90%) had lower prevalences than Whites. In each racial/ethnic group, "Methamphetamine/Desoxyn/Methedrine or Ritalin" was more commonly used than other stimulant groups; "got them from a friend/relative for free" and "bought them from a friends/relative" were among the most common sources. Females had greater odds than males of NMSU (among White, NH/PI, mixed-race individuals) and StiUD (among mixed-race individuals). Young adults (aged 18-25) had elevated odds of NMSU (White, NH/PI); adolescents had elevated odds of StiUD (White, mixed-race). Other substance use (especially marijuana, other prescription drugs) increased odds of NMSU and StiUD. NHs/PIs and mixed-race individuals were as likely as Whites to misuse stimulants. Research is needed to delineate health consequences of NMSU and inform prevention efforts for these understudied, rapidly-growing populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Research on Vietnam veterans suggests an association between psychological problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and misconduct; however, this has rarely been studied in veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. The objective of this study was to investigate whether psychological problems were associated with three types of misconduct outcomes (demotions, drug-related discharges, and punitive discharges.) METHODS: A population-based study was conducted on all U.S. Marines who entered the military between October 1, 2001, and September 30, 2006, and deployed outside of the United States before the end of the study period, September 30, 2007. Demographic, psychiatric, deployment, and personnel information was collected from military records. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was conducted to investigate associations between the independent variables and the three types of misconduct in war-deployed (n = 77,998) and non-war-deployed (n = 13,944) Marines. RESULTS: Marines in both the war-deployed and non-war-deployed cohorts with a non-PTSD psychiatric diagnosis had an elevated risk for all three misconduct outcomes (hazard ratios ranged from 3.93 to 5.65). PTSD was a significant predictor of drug-related discharges in both the war-deployed and non-war-deployed cohorts. In the war-deployed cohort only, a specific diagnosis of PTSD was associated with an increased risk for both demotions (hazard ratio, 8.60; 95% confidence interval, 6.95 to 10.64) and punitive discharges (HR, 11.06; 95% CI, 8.06 to 15.16). CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence of an association between PTSD and behavior problems in Marines deployed to war. Moreover, because misconduct can lead to disqualification for some Veterans Administration benefits, personnel with the most serious manifestations of PTSD may face additional barriers to care.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Street-based heroin injectors represent an especially vulnerable population group subject to negative health outcomes and social stigma. Effective clinical treatment and public health intervention for this population requires an understanding of their cultural environment and experiences. Social science theory and methods offer tools to understand the reasons for economic and ethnic disparities that cause individual suffering and stress at the institutional level. METHODS AND FINDINGS:We used a cross-methodological approach that incorporated quantitative, clinical, and ethnographic data collected by two contemporaneous long-term San Francisco studies, one epidemiological and one ethnographic, to explore the impact of ethnicity on street-based heroin-injecting men 45 years of age or older who were self-identified as either African American or white. We triangulated our ethnographic findings by statistically examining 14 relevant epidemiological variables stratified by median age and ethnicity. We observed significant differences in social practices between self-identified African Americans and whites in our ethnographic social network sample with respect to patterns of (1) drug consumption; (2) income generation; (3) social and institutional relationships; and (4) personal health and hygiene. African Americans and whites tended to experience different structural relationships to their shared condition of addiction and poverty. Specifically, this generation of San Francisco injectors grew up as the children of poor rural to urban immigrants in an era (the late 1960s through 1970s) when industrial jobs disappeared and heroin became fashionable. This was also when violent segregated inner city youth gangs proliferated and the federal government initiated its "War on Drugs." African Americans had earlier and more negative contact with law enforcement but maintained long-term ties with their extended families. Most of the whites were expelled from their families when they began engaging in drug-related crime. These historical-structural conditions generated distinct presentations of self. Whites styled themselves as outcasts, defeated by addiction. They professed to be injecting heroin to stave off "dopesickness" rather than to seek pleasure. African Americans, in contrast, cast their physical addiction as an oppositional pursuit of autonomy and pleasure. They considered themselves to be professional outlaws and rejected any appearance of abjection. Many, but not all, of these ethnographic findings were corroborated by our epidemiological data, highlighting the variability of behaviors within ethnic categories. CONCLUSIONS:Bringing quantitative and qualitative methodologies and perspectives into a collaborative dialog among cross-disciplinary researchers highlights the fact that clinical practice must go beyond simple racial or cultural categories. A clinical social science approach provides insights into how sociocultural processes are mediated by historically rooted and institutionally enforced power relations. Recognizing the logical underpinnings of ethnically specific behavioral patterns of street-based injectors is the foundation for cultural competence and for successful clinical relationships. It reduces the risk of suboptimal medical care for an exceptionally vulnerable and challenging patient population. Social science approaches can also help explain larger-scale patterns of health disparities; inform new approaches to structural and institutional-level public health initiatives; and enable clinicians to take more leadership in changing public policies that have negative health consequences.
Project description:Due to changes in cannabis policies, concerns about cannabis use (CU) in adolescents have increased. The population of nonwhite groups is growing quickly in the United States. We examined perceived CU norms and their association with CU and CU disorder (CUD) for White, Black, Hispanic, Native-American, Asian-American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NH/PI), and mixed-race adolescents. Data were from adolescents (12-17 years) in the 2004-2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (N = 163,837). Substance use and CUD were assessed by computer-assisted, self-interviewing methods. Blacks, Hispanics, Native-Americans, and mixed-race adolescents had greater odds of past-year CU and CUD than Whites. Among past-year cannabis users (CUs), Hispanics and Native-Americans had greater odds of having a CUD than Whites. Asian-Americans had the highest prevalence of perceived parental or close friends' CU disapproval. Native-Americans and mixed-race adolescents had lower odds than Whites of perceiving CU disapproval from parents or close friends. In adjusted analyses, adolescent's disapproval of CU, as well as perceived disapproval by parents or close friends, were associated with a decreased odds of CU in each racial/ethnic group, except for NHs/PIs. Adolescent's disapproval of CU was associated with a decreased odds of CUD among CUs for Whites (personal, parental, and close friends' disapproval), Hispanics (personal, parental, and close friends' disapproval), and mixed-race adolescents (personal, close friends' disapproval). Racial/ethnic differences in adolescent CU prevalence were somewhat consistent with adolescents' reports of CU norm patterns. Longitudinal research on CU health effects should oversample nonwhite adolescents to assure an adequate sample for analysis and reporting.
Project description:Breast cancer risk prediction remains imperfect, particularly among non-white populations. This study examines the impact of including single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) alleles in risk prediction for white and African American women undergoing screening mammogram. Using a prospective cohort study, standard risk information and buccal swabs were collected at the time of screening mammography. A 12 SNP panel was performed by deCODE genetics. Five-year and lifetime risks incorporating SNPs were calculated by multiplying estimated Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (BCRAT) risk by the total genetic risk ratio. Concordance between the BCRAT and the combined model (BCRAT + SNPs) in identifying high-risk women was measured using the kappa statistic. SNP data were available for 810 women (39 % African American, 55 % white). The mean BCRAT 5-year risk was 1.71 % for whites and 1.18 % for African Americans. Mean genetic risk ratios were 1.09 in whites and 1.29 in African Americans. Among whites, three SNPs had higher frequencies, and among African Americans, seven SNPs had higher and four had lower high-risk allele frequencies than previously reported. Agreement between the BCRAT and the combined model was relatively low for identifying high-risk women (5-year ? = 0.54, lifetime ? = 0.36). Addition of SNPs had the greatest effect among African Americans, with 12.4 % identified as having high-5-year risk by BCRAT, but 33 % by the combined model. A greater proportion of African Americans were reclassified as having high-5-year risk than whites using the combined model (21 vs. 10 %). The addition of SNPs to the BCRAT reclassifies the high-risk status of some women undergoing screening mammography, particularly African Americans. Further research is needed to determine the clinical validity and utility of the SNP panel for use in breast cancer risk prediction, particularly among African Americans for whom these risk alleles have generally not been validated.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Although epidemiologic studies suggest low levels of cigarette use among African American adolescents relative to White U.S. adolescents, it is not known whether this may be due to racial differences in the relative contribution of genes and environment to cigarette use initiation and progression to regular use. METHODS:Using data from White (n=2665) and African American (n=809) twins and full siblings sampled in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescents, we fitted age-, sex- and race-specific variance decomposition models to estimate the magnitude of genetic and environmental effects on cigarette use initiation and cigarette use quantity in Whites and African Americans across adolescence and adulthood. We employ a causal-contingent-common pathway model to estimate the amount of variance explained in quantity of cigarettes smoked contingent on cigarette use initiation. RESULTS:African Americans had lower cigarette use prevalence from adolescence through adulthood, and used cigarettes less heavily than Whites. Race-specific causal-contingent-common pathway models indicate that racial differences in genetic and environmental contributions to cigarette use initiation and cigarette use quantities are not present in adolescence but appear in young adulthood. Additive genetic factors were an important risk factor for cigarette use initiation for White but not African American young adults and adults. CONCLUSIONS:Genetic and environmental contributions for cigarette use are similar by race in adolescence. In adulthood, genes have a stronger influence for cigarette use among White adolescents while the influence of the environment is minimal. For African Americans, both genetic and environmental influences are important in young adulthood and adulthood.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Several ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) measures have been associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk independent of clinic blood pressure (BP). African Americans have higher clinic BP compared with Whites but few data are available on racial differences in ABPM measures. METHODS:We compared ABPM measures between African American (n = 178) and White (n = 103) participants at the Year 5 Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study visit. BP was measured during a study visit and the second and third measurements were averaged. ABPM was conducted over the following 24 hours. RESULTS:Mean ± SD age of participants was 29.8 ± 3.8 years and 30.8 ± 3.5 years for African Americans and Whites, respectively. Mean daytime systolic BP (SBP) was 3.90 (SD 1.18) mm Hg higher among African Americans compared with Whites (P < 0.001) after age-gender adjustment and 1.71 (SD 1.03) mm Hg higher after multivariable adjustment including mean clinic SBP (P = 0.10). After multivariable adjustment including mean clinic SBP, nighttime SBP was 4.83 (SD 1.11) mm Hg higher among African Americans compared with Whites (P < 0.001). After multivariable adjustment, the African Americans were more likely than Whites to have nocturnal hypertension (prevalence ratio: 2.44, 95% CI: 0.99-6.05) and nondipping (prevalence ratio: 2.50, 95% CI: 1.39-4.48). The prevalence of masked hypertension among African Americans and Whites was 4.4% and 2.1%, respectively, (P = 0.49) and white coat hypertension was 3.3% and 3.9%, respectively (P = 0.99). Twenty-four hour BP variability on ABPM was higher among African Americans compared with Whites. CONCLUSIONS:These data suggest racial differences in several ABPM measures exist.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Four prescription drugs (donepezil, galantamine, memantine, and rivastigmine) are approved by the US FDA to treat symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Even modest effectiveness could potentially reduce the population-level burden of AD and related dementias (ADRD), especially for women and racial/ethnic minorities who have higher incidence of ADRD.<h4>Objective</h4>Describe the prevalence of antidementia drug use and timing of initiation relative to ADRD diagnosis among a nationally representative group of older Americans, and if there are disparities in prevalence and timing by sex and race/ethnicity.<h4>Methods</h4>Descriptive analyses and logistic regressions of Medicare claims (2008-2016) for beneficiaries who had an ADRD or dementia-related symptom diagnosis, or use of an FDA approved drug for AD. We investigate prevalence of use and timing of treatment initiation relative to ADRD diagnosis across time and beneficiary characteristics (age, sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, comorbidities).<h4>Results</h4>Among persons diagnosed with ADRD or related symptoms, 33.3% used an approved drug over the study period. Odds of use was higher among Whites than non-Whites. Among ADRD drug users, 40% initiated use within 6 months of the initial ADRD or related symptoms diagnosis, and 16% initiated prior to a diagnosis. We observed disparities by race/ethnicity: 28% of Asians, 24% of Hispanics, 16% of Blacks, and 15% of Whites initiated prior to diagnosis.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The use of antidementia drugs is relatively low and varies widely by race/ethnicity. Heterogeneity in timing of initiation and use may affect health and cost outcomes, but these effects merit further study.
Project description:While young racial/ethnic groups are the fastest growing population in the United States, data about substance-related disorders among adolescents of various racial/ethnic backgrounds are lacking.To examine the magnitude of past-year DSM-IV substance-related disorders (alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, analgesic opioids, stimulants, sedatives, and tranquilizers) among adolescents of white, Hispanic, African American, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander, and multiple race/ethnicity.The 2005 to 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.Academic research.Noninstitutionalized household adolescents aged 12 to 17 years.Substance-related disorders were assessed by standardized survey questions administered using the audio computer-assisted self-interviewing method.Of 72 561 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, 37.0% used alcohol or drugs in the past year; 7.9% met criteria for a substance-related disorder, with Native Americans having the highest prevalence of use (47.5%) and disorder (15.0%). Analgesic opioids were the second most commonly used illegal drugs, following marijuana, in all racial/ethnic groups; analgesic opioid use was comparatively prevalent among adolescents of Native American (9.7%) and multiple race/ethnicity (8.8%). Among 27 705 past-year alcohol or drug users, Native Americans (31.5%), adolescents of multiple race/ethnicity (25.2%), adolescents of white race/ethnicity (22.9%), and Hispanics (21.0%) had the highest rates of substance-related disorders. Adolescents used marijuana more frequently than alcohol or other drugs, and 25.9% of marijuana users met criteria for marijuana abuse or dependence. After controlling for adolescents' age, socioeconomic variables, population density of residence, self-rated health, and survey year, adjusted analyses of adolescent substance users indicated elevated odds of substance-related disorders among Native Americans, adolescents of multiple race/ethnicity, adolescents of white race/ethnicity, and Hispanics compared with African Americans; African Americans did not differ from Asians or Pacific Islanders.Substance use is widespread among adolescents of Native American, white, Hispanic, and multiple race/ethnicity. These groups also are disproportionately affected by substance-related disorders.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The goal is to determine the delays and reduced rates of kidney transplant (KTx) for the Indigenous Americans and variables predictive of these outcomes at a large single transplant center.<h4>Methods</h4>300 Indigenous Americans and 300 non-Hispanic white American patients presenting for KTx evaluation from 2012-2016 were studied.<h4>Results</h4>Compared to whites, the Indigenous Americans had the following: more diabetes, dialysis, physical limitation and worse socioeconomic characteristics(p<0.01); median difference of 20 day delay from referral to KTx evaluation, 17 day delay from approval to UNOS listing and 126.5 longer delay on the waitlist compared to whites(p<0.001). Of the Indigenous Americans listed, more died, were removed, or were still waiting than transplanted compared to whites (p<0.001). Variables predictive of delay from referral to transplant evaluation included: Indigenous race, distance from transplant center, coronary artery disease, and time on dialysis (p<0.05). Cumulative incidence of waitlisting and KTx was lower for Indigenous Americans (p<0.0001). Independent predictors of decreased likelihood of waitlisting included age, peripheral vascular disease, no caregiver, physical limitation, and illegal drug use history (p<0.05). Variables predictive of lower likelihood of KTx included Indigenous race, percentage of time inactive on the waitlist, no caregiver, and O blood type.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Among patients referred and evaluated for KTx, the Indigenous American race was independently associated with significant delays in the KTx process after accounting for co-morbid and socioeconomic factors. Cardiovascular morbidity and physical limitation were identified as important determinants of delay and decreased likelihood of waitlisting. Further quantitative and qualitative work is needed to identify and intervene on modifiable barriers to improve access to KTx for the Indigenous Americans.