It’s not a secret that in most major cities in America, liquor is one thing that’s not hard to find. Everyone has heard the phrase, “You can find one on every corner”, when referencing liquor stores in the black community. But, The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University has found that while the exposure and alcohol consumption ads, music, and media bombard the lives of black youth, they are not taking the bait.
The center’s findings show that African American youth between the ages of 18 and 20 are drinking far less than their white counterparts. And that finding should not be overlooked because alcohol consumption in African Americans has been found to be much more deadly than for whites. Not only does the consumption of alcohol contribute to the three leading causes of death among African-American 12 to 20 year-olds (homicide, unintentional injuries (including car crashes), and suicide), but it also, according to the center’s report, says as they age, African Americans suffer more from alcohol-related diseases than other groups in the population.
Another finding from the report states that African American youth’s drug of choice is alcohol, yet they still drink less than whites. The report sites the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showing 19.1% of African Americans between 12 and 20 used alcohol in the 30 days prior to the survey, compared to 32.6% of whites, and 9.9% of African-American youth reported “binge” drinking, compared to 22.8% of whites.
The report gives the community several wake-up calls. The most important of those being that the black community are not sheep to be herded into the latest trends of social acceptance. The community is producing trendsetters that hold the potential to not delve into more serious drugs as an epidemic and truly become “our future.”