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Study Relates Racial Discrimination with Alcohol and Other Drug Use

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People who say they are victims of racial discrimination are more likely to use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, researchers say.

UPI reported Aug. 20 that researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of California at San Francisco and Harvard University collaborated on a study that found that 89 percent of African-Americans reported being victims of discrimination, compared to 38 percent of white Americans.

Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use was higher among those reporting discrimination regardless of their race. Black victims of discrimination tended to be more educated and wealthier, while whites reporting discrimination tended to be less educated and poorer.

“It is possible that use of a recreational drug helps to cope with life stress resulting from perceived unfair treatment because of one's race/ethnicity,” study leader Luisa Borrell of the Mailman School of Public Health.

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