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Alcohol use lower among blacks

February 25, 2010 | 10:59 am

Alcohol African Americans have lower drinking rates than other racial groups, according to a new survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It found that blacks ages 18 and older use alcohol at a rate of 44.3% compared with the national average of 55.2%

Moreover, blacks ages 18 to 25 are much less likely than other young adults to engage in binge drinking -- 25.3% compared with 41.6% in the general population.

The survey is part of a series conducted by SAMHSA to learn how to target alcohol and drug abuse treatment and prevention efforts to various age, gender and ethnic groups. The survey also found that the rate of illegal drug use among black adults is higher than the national average -- 9.5% compared with 7.9%. And among black males ages 26 to 49, illegal drug use is 14.7% compared with  11.2% in the general population for that age group. Binge drinking is also much higher in pregnant black women than among pregnant women in other age groups. 

The report is available at the SAMHSA website.

-- Shari Roan

Photo credit: Vince Compagnone  / Los Angeles Times

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