February marks an important month in the progression of civil rights. Black History Month commemorates decades of accomplishments and achievements by African Americans but also serves as a reminder of the hardships and injustice faced by many.
Addiction, social perception, and drug policy have severely impacted the African American community. The “War on Drugs” campaign, which began in 1971, waged a disproportionate attack on black Americans under the premise of criminal justice. As a result, communities of color have faced an increased rate of arrests and time in prison for the sale and possession of drugs as law enforcement focused their attention on urban areas.
The harsh and unbalanced punishment faced by African American communities has greater consequences beyond incarceration. Their drug-related convicted crimes later impact their rights regarding child custody, voting, employment, business loans, licensing, student aid, public housing, and other government assistance. In fact, it has been reported that the voting rights for 1 in 13 Black Americans are denied due to felony convictions. In addition to greater consequences and punishment, African American communities have less access to drug and medical detox treatment.
At Lake Ave Recovery, we are committed to fighting discrimination and disproportionate punishment, and incarceration. We have always been committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion. We believe in equal access to healthcare and addiction treatment for all populations, regardless of race and socioeconomic standing. We believe addiction is a disease, not a choice, and we firmly stand for access to treatment instead of criminal consequences.