White American Women Are Dying Prematurely*
As America’s white underclass copes with the problems that have long burdened black America, the conversation around poverty is changing.
Some of the consequences of white America’s opiate epidemic—a topic that has been widely explored by media outlets and social scientists—are still coming to light. Opioid use and addiction have exploded in predominantly white communities around the country, and 90 percent of new heroin users over the last decade are white. The vast majority of those users—75 percent—first used prescription painkillers, which are prescribed to African-Americans and Hispanics with far less frequency, thanks to racial biases in medicine. Among the overwhelmingly white majority of new heroin users, the number of women doubled. That fact has specific implications for white women, particularly those of the rural working class that come down to life and death.
White women still have lower death rates…
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