Well, the New York Times has a possible explanation — and it's disheartening. Gina Kolata and Sarah Cohen reported for the Times:
There is a reason that blacks appear to have been spared the worst of the narcotic epidemic, said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a drug abuse expert. Studies have found that doctors are much more reluctant to prescribe painkillers to minority patients, worrying that they might sell them or become addicted.
"The answer is that racial stereotypes are protecting these patients from the addiction epidemic," said Dr. Kolodny, a senior scientist at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and chief medical officer for Phoenix House Foundation, a national drug and alcohol treatment company.
It's a troubling possibility: Basically, doctors didn't give black patients drugs that were thought to be needed for pain treatment due to racist stereotypes. Then white patients who got the drugs became addicted, and some, over time, shifted to another, cheaper, more potent opioid — heroin — to satiate their addiction.
TO CONTINUE READING: https://www.vox.com/2016/1/25/10826560/opioid-epidemic-race-black