Black people were being prescribed opioids as much as whites during the drug crisis — but media coverage told a different story

Black people were being prescribed opioids as much as whites during the drug crisis — but media coverage told a different story

People of color were less likely than their white counterparts to be prescribed opioids in the 1990s after they became widely available for non-cancer-related pain — but although those rates caught up by the mid-2000s, media reports tended to focus on prescription opioid use among white people, a new study says.  

“To the extent that we think opioids were overprescribed, the media has put most of its attention on whites,” Virginia Chang, an associate professor of social and behavioral sciences at the NYU School of Global Public Health, told MarketWatch. 

But the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows that Black people were eventually using prescription opioids to a similar degree as white people. 

“While the media tends to focus the use of prescription opioids on whites and illicit use on Blacks, our findings show that Blacks were as likely to receive prescription opioids, and [were]…

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