Examining the Crack Epidemic and Subsequent Drug Policy through Identifying Trends in Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment for Crack Use/Abuse: 1995-2005
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Disparities in the crack/cocaine discourse have changed drastically since its inception over 30 years ago. Since the late 1980s, research examining this particular abuse has become more complex as both nationally and globally crack use/abuse has been examined within various contexts. Crack use has often been framed as an African American problem in part resulting from the high volume of African Americans seeking treatment for illnesses associated with their crack-cocaine use, and more African Americans dying from crack-cocaine overdose. This logical fallacy persists despite evidence showing African Americans have lower substance use/abuse compared to Caucasians. Given the impact of the crack epidemic as well as its related drug policies on African American communities and their families, further examination of crack use/abuse is necessary. This study will discuss the crack epidemic historically and examine crack use among clients of a large sample of outpatient substance abuse treatment units over a decade period between 1995 and 2005.
Dr. Nadine J. Barrett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Duke University. She currently hold senior leadership roles as CTSI Co-Director for Equity and Stakeholder Strategy and the Inaugural Director of The Center for Equity in Research in the Duke Clinical Translational Science Institute, and Associate Director for Equity and Stakeholder Strategy, Duke Cancer Institute. A medical sociologist by training, Dr. Barrett is a health disparities researcher, expert equity strategist, and a nationally-recognized leader in facilitating community/stakeholder and academic partnerships to advance health equity. She develops training and innovative methods to address implicit bias and structural and systemic racism that limits diverse participation in biomedical research and access to care. Her goals are to integrate diverse stakeholder engagement in the research process and healthcare systems, enhance enrollment and retention of underrepresented groups in biomedical research, increase diversity in the research workforce, and advance health equity. Prior to her current role, Dr. Barrett was the inaugural director of the Duke Cancer Institute's Office of Health Equity, where for eight years she led a team to create a nationally awarded community engagement model to advance health equity, through patient navigation, nationally funded pipeline training programs for underrepresented race and ethnic groups, and authentic community partnerships to inform and drive research and quality healthcare as advisors, experts, and participants. Her leadership in both nonprofit and academia spans local, national, and international partnerships to better serve and engage historically marginalized and underserved populations.
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