Alcohol consumption in the black community: What is there to know?

Friday, August 23, 2019


Alcohol consumption in the black community: What is there to know?

July 18, 2019 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Everybody drinks alcohol. Drinks are advertised in the media, not to mention that alcoholic beverages can be found everywhere from restaurants to supermarkets. People drink in social situations, such as birthdays, weddings, football games. etc. Why? Because everyone does it. Drinking is socially accepted as opposed to say, taking drugs. So, what is the problem? The problem is that alcohol consumption can be dangerous, especially if you’re black. There are big differences when it comes to whites and blacks in terms of alcohol drinking. To be more precise, drinking leads to more problems. While white people get off the hook, black people have to face serious consequences. What exactly happens when you have a drinking problem and you are part of an ethnic minority? Keep on reading to find out.

Black people don’t get all the same benefit from drinking wine as white people

Who does not like wine? It dries out in your mouth, leaving a subtly bitter taste.  The liquor of the Gods is healthy too. Wine contains antioxidants, which fight off free radicals that cause cancer. What is more, wine gives the immune system a boost. Moderate alcohol consumption can protect a person from infection and, generally speaking, illness. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that people of colour don’t derive benefit from drinking wine. How so? Researchers at Harvard University discovered that alcohol consumption doesn’t have the same protective effect when it comes to black people. The findings suggest that drinking could possibly lead to death and many factors are involved in this process. Examples include differences in physical, chemical, and social exposure. It’s important to not forget about the genetic differences.

As a rule, alcohol consumption is associated with harmful effects. Drinking can increase the risk of cancer, liver failure, and injuries from falls and car crashes. As far as the black community is concerned, there is an element of shame that accompanies the habit of drinking. The outcome is that people who have a problem are afraid to ask for help, fearing they will be judged by the community. Alcoholism shouldn’t be regarded as a stigma. Alcohol misuse is a common condition and it’s not a personal choice. Nobody chooses to become an addict. What these individuals need are understanding and support.

Targeted ads make blacks more likely to buy alcohol

At present, young black people drink bottles of alcohol when going out. The prevalence of underage drinking doesn’t come as a surprise. Alcohol brands often target people of colour, the result being that black people between 18 and 20 are exposed to more advertising for distilled spirits in magazines and on TV. Marketing has become sophisticated in the past years. References to alcoholic drinks have been inserted in music lyrics, so the youth can’t escape alcohol ads. They are everywhere, on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc. No one seems to care about how alcohol is advertised on the Internet. In spite of the fact that the marketing of alcohol has met with resistance, billboard ads are still present.

Many factors indeed come into play to influence a person’s drinking decisions, such as peers and the media, it’s impossible to deny the role of advertisements. Ads increase the overall level of alcohol consumption and even encourage individuals to change beverage brands. Big companies’ marketing efforts are harming young black people. They start to drink, become regular drinkers, and eventually succumb to addiction, which places them at high risk for harm. Governments should regulate this type of exploitation that marketing exposes people from the black community. As the black population grows, marketers will do their best to influence this segment.

Despite lower levels of drinking, drinking patterns are more destructive

Contrary to popular opinion, black people don’t abuse alcohol. They have a drink every now and then, but that’s it. You’ll see a person of colour enjoying a glass of Bourbon their favourite food, but you’re not likely to see them swirling out of control. Unfortunately, even if black people don’t drink too much, they have more problems on their hands. Among black men and women, moderate alcohol consumption can lead to addiction. What happens is that people of colour experience a higher response to alcohol at low and moderate levels, which results in less drinking and higher intoxication. The point is that people from the black community are more likely to encounter problems due to drinking.

Substance abuse treatment needs for black people

The good news is that it’s possible to safely detox from alcohol. The person needs to make the decision to stop drinking immediately. It’s for their own good. Addiction treatment centres offer detox for alcoholics. What can someone expect from such a program? Although everyone has different needs with regard to recovery, there are one-way solutions. Detox cannot be defined as a treatment. It’s basically the first step to getting better. A detox program protects the patient against the dangerous effects of withdrawal, like hallucinations, trouble sleeping, and sudden changes in heart rate and blood pressure. In other words, a detox program offers the necessary support.

Increasing access to treatment in local communities can be a solution to the problem. People of colour require unconditional support from family members. The support of their families can really make a different in terms of conquering addiction. In addition to getting a good understanding of the addiction, family members should avoid contributing to the problem by giving them money or excusing their behaviour. Religion plays an equally important role in the recovery process. Spirituality helps sufferers recover from addiction. People who were previously disconnected from their spiritual beings can once again get in touch with their spiritual side.

To conclude, there is hope. Alcohol consumption remains a widespread problem in modern society, but it’s possible to minimise its effects. Many black alcoholics have found the path to recovery. You too need to be careful about what you put in your body. Set your sights on greatness and do not let anything distract you from your journey.

Staff Writer; Greg Short


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