Essay On Drinking In Africa

1217 Words 5 Pages
Most African Americans can trace their roots to West Africa (Baker, 1988). In Africa, fermented grains and palm sap were used to make beer and wine. Drinking was not a forbidden practice, but it was regulated. …show more content…
44.3% of African Americans reported alcohol use in the past month, compared to the average of 55.2% nationally. 21.7% of African Americans admitted to binge alcohol use in the last month, compared to 24.5% (“Behavioral Health and Black/African Americans,” 2010). On the other hand, the rate of illicit drug use in the last month is higher than the national average (9.5% compared to 7.9%). One possible reason for higher illicit drug use rates among African American adults is availability. In poverty-stricken neighborhoods, drug dealers are common. Selling drugs is a way to acquire large sums of tax-free income. Also, selling drugs could be a last resort method of earning money to support themselves and/or their family if they are unable to find a stable place of employment due to lack of education, criminal background, or other reasons. Sadly, many of these communities are predominantly African American. Furthermore, “[i]n most instances, substances are an available, affordable, and predictable (at least initially) stress reducer for social and recreational purposes and, for some, the major strategy for coping with the untenable circumstance of being Black in America” (Straussner, 2001). African American adolescents aged 12 – 17 have lower rates of use in the last month compared to the national average for cigarettes (5.8% vs. 10.2%), alcohol (10.5% vs. 16%), marijuana (6.5% vs. 6.9%), and nonmedical use of prescriptions (2.9% vs. 3.3%). In the case of African American adolescents, “researchers have suggested that family attitudes and behaviors that discourage drug use may contribute to the relatively low rates of drug use observed among black youths” (“Substance Use Among Black Adolescents”). Adolescence is characterized by the development of identity and parents play a strong role in this stage. It

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