Frequency and factors related to substance use among Black individuals aged 15-40 years old in Canada: The role of everyday racial discrimination


Objective:

Despite evidence that Black individuals are confronted with various types of racial discrimination that put them at risk for alcohol and substance use disorders, no study in Canada has assessed the frequency and factors related to substance use in Black communities. This study thus aims to examine the frequency and factors related to substance use in Black communities in Canada.


Method:

A total of 845 Black individuals in Canada (76.6% female) completed questionnaires assessing substance use (i.e., alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs), everyday racial discrimination, resilience, religious involvement, and sociodemographic information. Multivariable regression analyses were used to determine factors related to substance use among Black individuals.


Results:

The findings showed that 14.8% (95% CI [8.60, 20.94]) of participants reported using any substance (i.e., alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs) in the past 12 months. Men reported a significantly higher frequency of substance use than women (25.7% vs. 11.1%; x² = 27.67, p < .001). Everyday racial discrimination (ß = .27, p < .001) and place of birth (born in Canada, ß = .14, p < .001) were positively associated with substance use, whereas it was negatively associated with religiosity, resilience, and gender (being a female; ß = -.08, p < .05; ß = -.21, p < .001; ß = -.12, p < .001).


Conclusions:

Racial discrimination is associated with substance use among Black individuals in Canada. The study findings inform potential prevention and intervention strategies by examining protective factors related to substance use (e.g., religiosity, resilience, gender) among Black individuals. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

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