Race-Related and Mental Health Factors of Powder Cocaine Use Among Black Incarcerated Men

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Incarceration disproportionately impacts Black men in the United States, which can have compounding effects on mental health and substance use among this population. Cocaine use, in particular, carries higher severity of dependence and overdose risks among Black Americans, though research examining cocaine use correlates among Black incarcerated men is limited. The present study examines race-related and mental health correlates of powder cocaine use among a sample of incarcerated Black men (n = 208) using the General Strain Theory. Specifically, the present study was a secondary analysis examining race-related stress, psychological distress (i.e., anxiety and depression), and stigma about receiving psychological help as correlates of lifetime powder cocaine use. Results indicated that the likelihood of lifetime powder cocaine use was higher among those reporting lifetime psychological distress and greater race-related stress. Stigma about receiving psychological help was not significantly associated with lifetime powder cocaine use among this sample. Results of this study have important implications for substance use treatment interventions. Identifying adaptive coping strategies to manage anxiety and depression symptoms and race-related stress among incarcerated Black men may help reduce rates of cocaine use among this population and increase successful reintegration into the community post-incarceration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Cocaine use
  • psychological distress
  • race-related stress
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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