A ‘Rare Case Where Racial Biases’ Protected African-Americans

November 25, 2019, The New York Times, Austin Frakt and Toni Monkovic - When the opioid crisis began to escalate some 20 years ago, many African-Americans had a layer of protection against it. But that protection didn’t come from the effectiveness of the American medical system. Instead, researchers believe, it came from racial stereotypes embedded within that system. As unlikely as it may seem, these negative stereotypes appear to have shielded many African-Americans from fatal prescription opioid overdoses. This is not a new finding. But for the first time an analysis has put a number behind it, projecting that around 14,000 black Americans would have died had their mortality rates related to prescription opioids been equivalent to that of white Americans.

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