July has been named National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a designation intended to bring awareness to the difficulties that BIPOC Americans face in getting help for mental illness. Despite experiencing mental health disorders at similar rates to white Americans, ethnic and racial minorities receive a disproportionate share of mental health services. This underrepresentation extends as well to questions of pain management, as members of BIPOC communities are less likely to receive treatment for their chronic pain than their white counterparts.
Disparities in Pain Management
Chronic pain is a medical condition that has received increasing attention in recent decades. Defined as pain that persists for over three months, chronic pain can afflict up to 40 percent of some communities and can prove debilitating for many sufferers.
Although studies show that the prevalence of pain is similar across racial and ethnic groups, the experience of that pain is not uniformly distributed. For example, African Americans and Hispanic whites were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to report severe pain. Despite the similar—or even elevated—rates of pain in BIPOC communities, racial and ethnic minorities consistently receive less and inferior treatment than their white counterparts.
The most likely causes of this disparity in pain management are, for minority individuals, the underreporting of pain intensity, and, for doctors, cultural biases that play into stereotypes about BIPOC people and their relationship to pain. Spreading awareness of these disparities and the reasons for their existence is essential to ensure that all people receive the chronic pain treatments they need.
Ketamine for Pain
One solution that may help those suffering from chronic pain is ketamine infusions. These safe and effective treatments provide pain relief for as long as 11 months. In addition, ketamine infusions are highly effective at treating a variety of psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety.
Contact VIP Ketamine Clinics
Contact VIP Ketamine today to learn more about ketamine for pain or depression or to schedule an appointment.