Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks

Care for Substance Use Disorders

Full title
Part 2: Trends in Priorities of the Heckler Report—Care for Substance Use Disorders
  • Thirty years ago, the Heckler Report found that:
    • Mortality statistics for the United States did not identify Blacks separately, and until 1976, most other common measures of alcohol-related problems such as arrest and hospital discharge rates did not provide a Black identifier. The 1979 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Survey indicated that based on self-reported data, Black American males age 18 and over had higher levels of heavy drinking and higher rates of alcohol-related problems than nonminorities.
    • Results from the 1983 single-room occupancy hotels study of drug abuse in New York City suggested that Blacks had higher rates of drug use than Whites for marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and illicit methadone.
    • Lung and esophageal cancer morbidity and mortality rates, known to be related to smoking, were lower for Blacks than for Whites.

Care for Substance Use Disorders for Blacks

Measure Most Recent Disparity Disparity Change
People age 12 and over who received any illicit drug or alcohol abuse treatment in the last 12 months Same No Change
People age 12 and over who needed treatment for illicit drug use or an alcohol problem and who received such treatment at a specialty facility in the last 12 months Same No Change
People age 12 and over treated for substance abuse who completed treatment course Same No Change
  • Trends: No measure of care for substance use disorders was improving for Blacks.
  • Groups With Disparities: Blacks and Whites had similarly low rates of treatment for substance use disorders.

Treatment for Illicit Drug Use or Alcohol Problem

People age 12 and over who needed treatment for illicit drug use or an alcohol problem and who received such treatment at a specialty facility in the last 12 months, by race, 2010-2013, and by race stratified by education, 2013

Charts show people age 12 and over who needed treatment for illicit drug use or an alcohol problem and who received such treatment at a specialty facility. Text descriptions are below the image.

Left Chart:

Race 2010 2011 2012 2013
Total 11.2 10.8 10.8 10.9
White 11.7 10.4 10.3 10.7
Black 12.8 14.4 12.9 12.6

Right Chart:

Education Total White Black 
< High School 7.6 18.6 13.3
High School Grad 12.2 12.8 10.9
Any College 8.6 8.1 14.5

2011 Achievable Benchmark: 15%.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2010-2013.
Denominator: Civilian noninstitutionalized population age 12 and over who needed treatment for illicit drug use or an alcohol problem.
Note: Treatment refers to treatment at a specialty facility, such as a drug and alcohol inpatient and/or outpatient rehabilitation facility, inpatient hospital setting, or mental health center.

  • Overall Rate: In 2013, only 10.9% of people age 12 and over who needed treatment for illicit drug use or an alcohol problem received such treatment at a specialty facility in the last 12 months.
  • Groups With Disparities: From 2010 to 2013, there were no statistically significant differences by race. In 2013, there was no statistically significant difference between Blacks and Whites at any educational level.
  • Achievable Benchmark:
    • The 2011 top 6 State achievable benchmark was 15%. The top 6 States that contributed to the achievable benchmark are Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Maryland, Oregon, and Utah.
    • The total population, Blacks, and Whites are making no progress toward the benchmark.

Completion of Substance Abuse Treatment

People age 12 and over treated for substance abuse who completed treatment course, by race/ethnicity, 2005-2011

Chart shows people age 12 and over treated for substance abuse who completed treatment course. Text description is below the image.

Race/Ethnicity 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Total 45.0 47.5 45.1 46.6 46.7 44.1 43.7
Hispanic 46.0 46.7 45.8 46.5 47.1 44.4 45.3
White 46.7 49.2 46.6 48.3 48.3 45.3 44.5
Black 40.4 43.6 41.0 42.5 43.8 40.6 40.7

2008 Achievable Benchmark: 74%.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set, Discharge Data Set, 2005-2011.
Denominator: Discharges age 12 and over from publicly funded substance abuse treatment facilities.

  • Overall Rate: In 2011, 43.7% of people age 12 and over treated for substance abuse completed their treatment course.
  • Groups With Disparities:
    • In 4 of 7 years, Blacks who were treated for substance abuse were significantly less likely than Whites to complete treatment.
    • There were no statistically significant differences in treatment completion between Blacks and Whites in the 3 most recent years, 2009-2011.
  • Achievable Benchmark:
    • The 2008 top 5 State achievable benchmark was 74%. The top 5 States that contributed to the achievable benchmark are Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Mississippi, and Texas.
    • No group showed progress toward the benchmark.

Return to Contents

Page last reviewed March 2016
Page originally created March 2016
Internet Citation: Part 2: Trends in Priorities of the Heckler Report—Care for Substance Use Disorders. Content last reviewed March 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/chartbooks/blackhealth/part2-subuse.html