While cruising the Black social media streets, I’ve seen several folks sniggering over the opioid epidemic that’s currently plaguing White communities throughout America and while I understand the cynicism, some of us need to stop casting stones and look at what’s going on in our own backyards. Because it’s a whole lot of young drug addicts running amok causing chaos and mayhem but no one wants to talk about it. So I will.
Pill addiction in the Black community amongst the younger generation is running rampant and people are either ignoring it or acting shocked when the reality slaps them in the face. Rappers glorify opioid usage and brag about popping Mollies and unfortunately, too many young people have been heavily influenced by these fools and have become addicted.
According to a study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Heath Services Administration, it’s been a 40 percent increase of Black drug overdose deaths between 2015-2016 as compared to the overall population at 21 percent. And between the years of 2011 and 2016, Black folks have had the biggest increase in opioid overdose deaths, particularly for synthetic opioid drugs such as fentanyl.
I wasn’t one of the people who were kee-keeing about the opioid addiction problem in the White community but I do remember how crack addicts were treated back during the War on Drugs. Crack addicts were thrown into prison like trash and given no empathy or treatment whereas today, this opioid drug epidemic has been called a health crisis. Because the face of the addicts are White and suburban, not Black and from the inner city.
So as cynical as I am about this system I live in, I couldn’t help but put a correlation between the reckless crimes being committed in the city I live in which is Chicago and the rise of the opioid addiction in the Black community. I’ve seen mugshots of criminals who are usually between the ages of 18 and 35 and I see absolutely nothing in their eyes. Not a trace of humanity or common sense. A graduate student from the University of Chicago was murdered by one of these monsters and he gave the criminal everything he wanted and he was still shot down like a dog in the streets. The only reason his murderer was caught is because he sold his victim’s laptop and phone at a cellular store and it was on video. Crackheads weren’t that stupid back in the day because at least they waited until night to commit crimes and this murder took place at 1:54pm.
The long term ramifications of the opioid epidemic in the Black community is going to be horrendous. The community has barely recovered from the crack era and its existing on fumes. Imagine how the children born from this era in Black history are going to be affected. So my advice to the Black community is to take those blinders off and really look into the faces of the younger generation. Today I was almost pickpocketed by a young man while shopping in Walmart and if I wasn’t so cognizant of my surroundings at all times, I would have been robbed. He was too close to me for my comfort and I turned around and looked at him dead in the eyes. He scurried off like the piece of shit he was and left me in peace but another woman might not be that lucky.