Native Americans are struggling with alcohol abuse. Historically, they've had a serious problem with alcohol abuse, but the problem is continuing among contemporary Native Americans. More than 10% of all Native American deaths are alcohol related. If you have a loved one that could benefit from our Asheville drug and alcohol treatment center, please give us a call. Substance abuse is a serious problem and Legacy Freedom can help.
Studies show that alcohol abuse varies by tribe, age and gender. However, women, especially older generations, are more likely to drink regularly and have alcohol abuse problems. Interestingly enough, Native American women are also more likely to completely refrain from drinking alcohol at all.
In general, the problem lies within the quantity consumed. It is typically much greater than the general population. Frequent use of alcohol by Native Americans is actually less than the general population. So, the problem lies within how much is being consumed, not often they partake.
The most common deaths in the last four years among Native Americans are due to liver disease, homicide, suicide, falls and traffic collisions. All of these causes of death are related to alcohol use.
There are also numerous medical conditions and diseases that are associated with alcohol abuse as well including the following:
- Muscle strains
- Hearing problems
- Vision loss
- Kidney disease
- Head trauma and injuries
- Liver problems
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
The fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is at an alarmingly high rate of 1.5 to 2.5 per 1000 live births. This is more than seven times the rate for the United State's national average.
Deaths due to alcohol abuse among Native Americans are more common in men. However, Native American youth are becoming the biggest problem. More than 80% of the Native American youth have tried alcohol. This is far more than the national average for youth. When asked why the consensus seems to be low self-esteem.
Efforts are being made to not only build up the Native American youths' self-esteem but to also fight alcohol abuse. It's important to bring awareness and fight for this cause. The best way to get a better understanding of alcohol abuse among Native Americans is to take a look at history. Research shows that prior to colonists settling in America, Native Americans consumed beer, wine and other fermented alcohol that had very low alcohol concentrations. These were consumed for ceremonial purposes. At that time in history, Native Americans were unaware of how to make more potent alcohol. As Europeans began to settle and form colonies, they were bringing and making large quantities of distilled alcohol and wine.
After it was made available to American Indians, they were unable to quickly adapt to the higher alcohol concentration. They were thrown into social drinking without learning how to moderate their use. Unfortunately, settlers traded alcohol for animal skins and other materials. Eventually, they realized that working with intoxicated Native Americans made for a better deal. Teaching them to binge drink was part of their plan.
Generation after generation continued drinking to the point of drunkenness. Settlers regulated alcohol use. The act of binge drinking to the point of drunkenness was considered degrading and foolish according to Native Americans, historically. They rarely drank to the point of being drunk and only partook in alcohol outside of ceremonies when meeting with settlers. However, colonists were continually drinking to the point of intoxication. They were master binge drinkers and didn't think badly of it.
The rise in alcohol abuse among Native Americans has been constant. This is not the case for the general population. Alcohol abuse has grown since 1975 in the United States, but before that there didn't seem to be a pressing issue with it. If you, or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, please know that help is available. At our Asheville drug and alcohol treatment center, we help people just like you regain their sobriety. Call today to learn more.
Little research has been done to better understand why there is such an alarmingly high rate of alcohol abuse among Native Americans. However, scientists have done some studies. All lead to the idea that alcohol abuse runs in certain families. Because of a difference in alcohol metabolism and genotype of alcohol metabolism enzymes some families are affected more than others.
Also, there is no specific gene that has been found by scientists that takes full responsibility for the growing rate of alcohol abuse.
Sometimes, we rely so much on alcohol that it becomes a dependency. We might not even realize the addiction is there. That's why our rehabilitation programs can help. Our holistic approach to customized therapy offers the best solution for addiction. You don't have to miss work or school in order to recover. You can go on about your daily routine and implement our programs into your typical day.
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