Overdose Disparities Series: Community-informed Strategies for Addressing Non-Fatal and Fatal Overdose within Black/African American Populations


This webinar is the fourth in a series of webinars that will highlight the overdose prevention efforts in Region 5. Today will highlight the key challenges associated with opioid misuse/OUD or unintentional fatal mixed stimulant/opioid overdoses within the Black/African American population. Presenters will provide community-informed practices for addressing opioid misuse, overdose and the prevention of OUD in Black/ African American Populations.




  1. Provide recent data on prevalence of opioid overdose death rates in the Black/African American population in the U.S.
  2. Discuss contextual factors that impact the opioid epidemic and increase overdose deaths in these communities, including challenges to accessing early intervention and treatment.
  3. Understand the difference in the ways that Blacks/African Americans use opioids and other drugs compared to White and Latinx populations.
  4. Highlight new or potential innovative outreach and engagement strategies that have the potential to connect individuals with evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery.


Presenters today served as community experts and contributed to the development of this SAMHSA Resource: The Opioid Crisis and the Black/African American Population: An Urgent Issue was prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity. You can also see our research from 2017 Whitewashed



Kathie Kane-WillisKathie Kane-Willis  Director of Research and Policy for the Chicago Urban League


Kathie Kane-Willis is the Director of Research and Policy for the Chicago Urban League and she has been trending the opioid epidemic since 2003. Before joining the League, she co-founded and led the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy at Roosevelt University from 2005-2016 and has worked to pass harm reduction policies in a number of Midwestern states.



Kareem ButlerKareem Butler  Director of Learning and Evaluation for the Research and Policy Center, at the Chicago Urban League

Kareem Butler is the Director of Learning and Evaluation for the Research and Policy Center, at the Chicago Urban League. In this role, Kareem works enterprise wide to evaluate the performance and resource needs of programmatic departments through a client focused lens to help shape and support programming that is responsive to longstanding community needs and emerging trends. With a background in public health and health policy, Kareem has developed an appreciation and respect for the gathering of input, stories and quality data, to advocate more effectively on behalf of black families and communities in pursuit of racial equity in total health and wellness. 




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