Poverty And Substance Abuse Essay

1609 words - 7 pages

Throughout my study I will focus on poverty pertaining to African-American males between the ages of 18-25 with substance abuse. The United States recession continues to illuminate the experience of poverty in this country and the weaknesses in programs designed to protect families from the effects of poverty. The poverty rate has risen over the last four years, and is just beginning to stabilize.
In 1990, Schwarz (1990) stated about one in five American families lived beneath the poverty line. According Lein (2013), it is estimated that as of the beginning of 2011, about 1.46 million U.S. households with about 2.8 million children were surviving on $2 or less in income per person per day in a given month. This constitutes almost 20 percent of all non-elderly households with children living in poverty. About 866,000 households appear to live in extreme poverty across a full calendar quarter. The prevalence of extreme poverty rose sharply between 1996 and 2011(Lein, 2013).
According to NASW (2012), Social work has a long history with the war on poverty at all macro, micro, and mezzo levels. It is also one of the six ethical principles according to social workers that make poverty a primary problem. It shows that poverty is not about just money. Poverty comes from multiple factors like political, social, and economic. The purpose of this study will be to explain why male African-Americans between 18-25 are more likely to live in poverty when dealing with substance abuse.

Literature Review
Poverty in the United States
According to Lein (2013), the poverty rate increased in the United States over the course of the recession. In 2009, the overall United States poverty rate was 14%, and then rose to 15% in 2010, the highest rate since 1993 (United States Census Bureau, 2011a). As stated in Duncan (2013) research that not only was poverty increasing, but the number of people in extreme poverty which are people living on less than $2 per day has continued to increase as well. For example, the annual earnings for incomes under and over $25,000 between ages 25 and 37 Duncan (2013) and colleagues found that for children growing up in families with average early childhood incomes below US$25,000, a US$3,000 annual boost to family income between the prenatal year and age 5 was associated with a 17% increase in adult earnings. For children growing up in higher income households (more than US$25,000 per year), a US$3,000 boost to family income was statistically significant but was estimated to increase adult earnings by only about 2%. None of the income increments later in childhood was estimated to have statistically significant effects on later earnings (Duncan, 2013).
Poverty among males
Schwarz (1990) also used a thesis by Murray that studied the affect of poverty due to welfare liberalism and the affects of job incentives during the 1960’s. Murray stated that the most vulnerable persons would be the young African American male aged 16-24. Murray...

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