8 November 2014
Drug Abuse in Inner Cities
Inner-city areas have become the primary location for minorities, and the easiest place to find illegal drugs. Evidence shows that there is a link between the increase of illegal drug use, and the increase of minorities living in inner-city communities that are unemployed or collect welfare. Bruce D. Johnson states “Drug Abuse in the Inner City: Impact on Hard-Drug Users and the Community” and “Illicit drug use in the inner city expanded rapidly in the 1960s and has continued unabated into the 1990s” (9). Johnson also writes “During the period 1960-80, the number of persons living in communities primarily occupied by low-income (including welfare and unemployed) blacks and Hispanics approximately doubled” (10). The two previous quotes provide evidence that illegal drug use and minorities living in inner city communities have both increased over time. Minority drug abuse in the inner city results in the organization of drug distribution systems, which can cause violence that negatively affect families.
Drug abuse is a problem in inner cities, and has been for a long time. During World War II factory workers were necessary in order to meet the needs of the United States Army. Between the 1930s and 1940s, with the majority of those factories located in the North, a large group of Southern African Americans migrated to the Northern states in search for jobs. The low-wage factory jobs that African Americans and other minorities occupied forced them to reside in the ghettos. According to, “Drug Abuse in the Inner City: Impact on Hard-Drug Users and the Community” Johnson states that “Prior to 1940, about 20 percent of those arrested for narcotic law were black, a figure that increased to over 50 percent by the mid-1950s” (12). Johnson provides information that shows the migration of African Americans sparked minority drug abuse within inner-city communities. In the 1950s, minorities use of illegal drugs began to increase, and have continued to into present day.
The most dramatic increase in the use of drugs within minority communities occurred in the 1960s and the early 1970s. During that time period, many events took place that impacted drug abuse in the inner city’s minority communities. Johnson writes “Heroin use and addiction, particularly among minorities in the inner-city neighborhoods, exploded during the period 1965-73,” (14). This quote shows the highly addictive drug many minorities between the years 1965 to 1973 abused heroin. In the inner-city communities, those who used heroin most likely tried it for the first time between the ages of 15 and 21. Heroin is a highly addictive drug, and about half the users who try it are addicted within two years, (14). Johnson states that “The “heroin generation” of youths who became addicted in 1965-73 is evident in the black community in virtually every city with a population over 100,000” (14). This quote proves that it was common for minority communities to have a serious drug abuse problem, and that minorities were responsible for the popularity of heroin in the inner cities. Heroin was not the only drug abused as the popularity of drug use continued to increase. In 1975, cocaine became very popular in within minority communities throughout the city, and remained very popular until 1984. The amount of cocaine users began to decline due to the rise of another drug, crack. It is evident that if inner-city minority drug abuse continues to be neglected, no matter what illegal drug it is, it will gain popularity and users will abuse the illegal substance. Minorities are not only the majority of users; they are also the majority of distributors. In New York, African Americans and Puerto Ricans of the inner city communities often bought kilograms from the Italians, (18). Johnson writes “At the lower levels of the heroin distribution system, heroin user-dealers would generally be advanced...
Cited: Bruce D. Johnson Terry Williams, Kojo A. Dei and Harry Sanabria, “Drug Abuse in the
Inner City: Impact on Hard-Drug Users and the Community”, Crime and justice13 (1990): 9-67. JSTOR. Web. 3 November 2014.
Richard R. Clayton, “The Family and Federal Drug Abuse Policies. Programs: Toward Making the Invisible Family Visible”, Family Policy (Aug., 1979): 637-647. JSTOR. Web. 3 November 2014.
Stacy, W. Alan. “Interactive and Higher-Order Effects of Social Influences on Drug Use.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 33:3 (Sep. 1992). 226-241. American Sociological Association. Web 31 October 2014.
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