The world’s top researcher on addiction is Gabor Mate, he’s determined that addiction has less to do, if nothing to do with the drug or substance people are addicted to but social and internal issues that the addict has not acknowledged or resolved. That’s why all people who use addictive substances do not become addicts.
I think Black addiction is a direct by-product of living under and trying to cope with Psychopathic White Aggression. Like Malcolm X said; “drugs allow you to suffer peacefully.” Black people suffer from deep seeded alienation that we often don’t like to acknowledged.
Capitalism is a system that dehumanizes and alienates even those who are in the upper-classes; so just imagine how deteriorating it is to we who have to deal with the Capitalist compounded by Racism, Poverty, Sexism, etc. Drugs allow us to find transient relief from the psychological pain and stress of being human in an inherently inhumanity economy, culture, and society.
The System drives Black people crazy, it drives them to addiction, it has been driving us to premature death since our forced entry into the Systems and Institutions of Global White Domination.
Also, most addictions have jobs, the “base-heads” we see in the streets only represent a minority of addictions; most are middle-class or higher.
I grew up in a home plagued by addiction, crack addicts, alcoholics, but the most prominent addiction in my home was food addiction; but food addiction is a socially acceptable addiction so you can indulge in that addiction out in the open, you can even join the rest of society in denouncing drug and alcohol addicts as you sit in the food-court getting high on food and sodas. But food addiction cripples and kills more people than any other addictions; it’s killed more of my relatives than coke or alcohol.
Having been raised in the environment that I was I was determined to avoid scumming to addiction, that I later found out was tied to our oppression; avoiding food and drug addiction was relatively easy; I adopted a Vegan diet and lifestyle, and I simply refused to smoke or drink addictive substances; but that was not nearly enough.
I found that you either had to actively oppose oppression or you will in some way or another submit to oppression, and you would end up with some other dysfunctional coping mechanism even if you avoid drug or food addiction; so I also became a Revolutionary to oppose and dismantle the Systems and Institutions of oppression that drive so many people to addiction or other forms of self-destruction and alienation. If you are born into a sick society, the only way to achieve any semblance of health and sanity is to live a life in opposing the society, working to fundamentally transform that society. Frantz Fanon broke that whole process down; of going from sick to healthy, (from partial to whole) through Revolutionary Resistance.
So, check out Mate and Fanon; that’s a good foundation for understanding addiction, alienation, and the path to healing and wholeness through Revolutionary social transformation.
Oh, I almost forgot, check out Carl Hart, he’s a neuroscientist who also has great insights on addiction; my main issue with him is that he detaches his analysis and conclusions from a Revolutionary solution, but his insights are still valuable.