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Review
, 10 (12), e3733

Racial Bias in the US Opioid Epidemic: A Review of the History of Systemic Bias and Implications for Care

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Review

Racial Bias in the US Opioid Epidemic: A Review of the History of Systemic Bias and Implications for Care

Taylor N Santoro et al. Cureus.

Abstract

The opioid epidemic has been declared a US national public health emergency. Discrepancies in the rates of abuse and access to treatment exist among non-white minorities. A narrative literature review evaluated the minority racial disparities in opioid use, abuse, and care in the US. Racial disparities in the prescription of opioid-containing compounds are dramatic with the non-white individuals being prescribed at half the rate. Historical and cognitive biases may have insulated the non-white minorities, while the minorities have limited access to treatment. Physician bias, media portrayal of opioid abuse disorders, and governmental regulation are a polyfactorial root of racial inequity in the opioid epidemic. As part of the national response, addressing these issues will be an important factor in curbing this epidemic.

Keywords: african-american; minority; opioid epidemic; race.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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