Everyone’s journey to recovery is unique — but when it comes to treatment the Black community experiences more barriers to treatment than other groups.
Attention to the addiction epidemic has focused primarily on White suburban and rural communities. Less attention has focused on Black communities which are similarly experiencing dramatic increases in opioid misuse and overdose deaths.
In our commitment to ensure that members of the Black community have access to recovery, prevention, and mental health resources, we have curated a list of recovery and mental health resources specifically for the Black community.
Resources on Addiction & Substance Use Disorder:
- 2019 National Survey On Drug Use And Health: African Americans: Provides a window into the state of substance use and mental health issues with the African American community.
- African Americans Often Face Challenges Accessing Substance Use Treatment: Dr. Scott Nolen discusses the effects of the opioid crisis in the African American community.
- The Opioid Crisis and the Black/African American Population: An overview of factors influencing opioid use and opioid use disorder in Black communities, highlights strategies for prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions, plus the importance of ongoing community voice and leadership in addressing this crisis. (Released April 2020 via SAMHSA)
- Ethnicity and Health in America Series: Addiction in the African-American Community
- Addiction in the African American Community: The Recovery Legacies of Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X (via Faces & Voices of Recovery)
Resources for Mental Health:
- Take the #NoShame pledge: Join SAFE Project’s national movement to combat stigma, because there’s #NoShame in getting help for mental health and addiction.
- Behavioral Health Equity: African American Community
- Your Journey: Black/African American (via NAMI)
- Black And African American Communities And Mental Health (via Mental Health America)
- Brother, You’re on My Mind Toolkit, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities: Educational materials aimed at African American men.
Stories of Recovery:
- The Other All-American Boy (Samuel’s Story): As Samuel “Kevin” Johnson will tell you, his experience growing up was characterized by trauma and violence — when what he really needed was counseling, job training, and education. After many years of struggling with drugs and alcohol, he knew it was time to get help or lose everything that mattered to him.
- Taco Tuesday (Jaynee’s Story): Jaynee takes us through a defining moment when she had to decide which way she was going — and whether that would take her forward in her recovery, or set her back.
- Fight (Nicole’s Story): In this episode of the podcast Beauty in the Grit, Nicole reminds us that there will be dark nights where no one will come to rescue us. But if we are open to it, maybe that’s when we’ll find a new hero— ourselves.
- In Our Own Voice – African-American Stories of Oppression, Survival and Recovery in Mental Health Systems by Vanessa Jackson
- Online Museum of African American Addictions, Treatment and Recovery
- Black Mental Health with Reginald A. Howard: The black mental health podcast is dedicated to understanding and unraveling the mental issues in the African American community.
- Getting Your Sh*t Together: Each Thursday, join Cynthia, a Brooklynite in her 30s as she adjusts to being sober (it’s a thing), while navigating this crazy thing called life…one day at a time.
- Therapy for Black Girls: A weekly chat about mental health, personal development, and more for Black women and girls.
- The Friend Zone: Dustin Ross, HeyFranHey & Assante explore mental health and mental wealth.
Videos on Addiction and Mental Health in the Black Community:
- Let’s Quit Abusing Drug Users” (via TEDMED): Carl Hart, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University, offers a provocative, evidence-based view of addiction and discusses how it should impact drug policy.
- Surviving Addiction: A Path To Healing: Actor and Comedian, Tommy Davidson, discusses his experiences with racism and addiction.
- Black Mental Health Matters: Phillip J. Roundtree discusses his own mental health journey and the impact of trauma on mental health.
- Tackling Mental Health Stigma: Learn how NAMI Ambassador Chris Hubbard, offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns is tackling stigma by encouraging young athletes to take care of their mental health.
- Confronting Mental Illness: Actor and rapper, Kid Cudi, confronts mental illness, addresses substance use disorder that co-occurs with mental illness, and helps to break down the stigma attached to mental illness within the African American community.
Organizations Focused on Addiction & Mental Health in the Black Community:
- Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation: Founded by actress Taraji P. Henson, the foundation works to increase mental health care access, and decrease mental health stigma, in Black communities.
- Black Mental Health Alliance: an organization that connects individuals with therapists and provides professional training.
- The Confess Project: working to change conversations about mental health in communities of color by utilizing barbers to connect with Black men.
- Ethel’s Club: social and wellness community where paying members can access group workouts, guided meditations, wellness salons and art workshops as part of the healing process.
- National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network: seeks to address the particularly traumatic burden experienced by queer and trans communities of color by reimagining conventional mental health systems.