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.





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