Substance Abuse among Native Americans

2033 WordsJul 15, 20189 Pages
Reflecting on the many western movies of my youth, it can be clearly recalled that the Native Americans were either scalping Euro Americans or getting sloppy drunks so they could not function physically and/or mentally. This abuse of alcohol and, in general, acceptance of drunken behavior beyond recollection of actions or knowledge of one’s environment, was widely accepted as the norm by Euro Americans outside of the Native American world and far from the arid, treeless reservations. Although tribes vacillate with regard to the use of alcohol and drugs, substance dependence is one of the principal sources of health problems facing Native Americans. As the graph below shows, there is a disparity in abuse. How did this substance abuse…show more content…
The newly acquired ideas were implemented in various Native American programs to improve the mental/physical health of all Native Americans. Most programs, however, base their ongoing work on four key concepts. . (Beal et al 2005) They are analyzing how alcohol and drugs affect the immediate family unit as well as how it affects relatives and friends physically, emotionally, and spiritually. What, if any of these affects are being carried down from one generation to another. Does alcohol set off any of the other affects such as drug abuse, mental illness et al? Finally, coming to the carefully scrutinized observation that alcoholism often co-exists in Indian communities with certain definite other problems like depression, self-hate, cultural shame, and stress-related acting out or inappropriate misconduct. (NADC 2011)These four main ideas are still used today to further identify and improve mental health conditions among the Native Americans. whitebison.org With regards to this, healthcare workers also identified a number of emerging positive attitudes across Indian country. Tribes of Native American communities, for example, report that they are taking steps themselves to eliminate abuse. The feeling is growing that the best--perhaps only way--to overcome Indian alcohol and substance abuse
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