A legacy of distrust: The racial disparities that mean many can be reluctant to seek help

Peer mentor Donna Fambro smiles as she adjusts her mask at Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services in the East Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati on Oct. 29, 2020 Sam Greene

Every city in America could use more Donna Fambros, people who drive the streets of urban neighborhoods – as Fambro does in Cincinnati – looking for Black and Latino women and men suffering from addiction and asking whether they need help.

Addiction is hard. It makes its victims want to hide from treatment. And treatment, these days, is out there for everyone.

But it is harder for this particular segment of the population to get help. That's because, for a long time, people of color with substance use disorders have been even more marginalized than their white counterparts, living in the shadows, reticent to seek help.