By Gordon Kent
About 83 per cent of respondents to a 2010 questionnaire had experienced racism at least once in the past year, far more prejudice than black and Latino Americans see in a lifetime, according to research led by University of Lethbridge epidemiologist Cheryl Currie.
This poor treatment, which happens most often in public places, schools, stores and restaurants, can lead to post-traumatic stress disorders that are linked to problems with drugs and gambling for people living in cities.
“It’s the first study to show a link between racism and gambling among any population in the world that we’re aware of,” said Currie, an assistant professor in the U of L faculty of health sciences.
“I wasn’t expecting this … I didn’t think racism to be so high and I didn’t expect it to be so strongly correlated with prescription drug dependence and gambling, especially through PTSD.”
Hilda Francis, an aboriginal woman who has lived in Edmonton for about 30 years, said she runs into some form of racism two or three times a year.
She and a co-worker were told to leave a department store for no reason at the beginning of June and an employee wanted to look through their bags at the door, which Francis said she refused to allow.
Below: "Hilda Francis, who works for Boyle street Community Services, talks about her experiences with discrimination as an aboriginal Edmonton resident." (Greg Southam, edmontonjournal.com)
I prefer the simpler (more parsimonious explanation): Addiction is ultimately chemical.
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