Native Americans Battling Alcohol Abuse in Nebraska

Asheville Drug and Alcohol Treatment CenterAlcohol abuse is a condition that leaves the body addicted to drinking alcohol. Those that have a problem consuming too much alcohol on a daily basis might have an addiction to this substance. Just like drugs, you can become addicted to alcohol. That means alcohol rehab might be your only chance at cutting back or quitting altogether. If you or someone you love need help, contact Legacy Freedom. We're a Asheville drug and alcohol treatment center that you can trust!

Native Americans Battling Alcohol Abuse

As we talked about in our previous blog post, Native Americans all over the U.S. are struggling with alcohol abuse. Reservations all across America are plagued by this addiction. There are many studies and theories as to why this is the case. Regardless of the cause the fact remains that there is a serious alcohol abuse issue among Native Americans.

In Nebraska, there is a tiny village near the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota. In an attempt to help reduce alcohol abuse on this reservation, a church ministry has started a fundraiser to buy out four stores that sell alcohol. Combined, these four stores sell millions of cans of beer each year to the reservation.

Despite the fact that store owners are ready to sell, some still have their doubts about the effectiveness of this solution. Several activists who are working toward raising money are skeptical that the buyout will work. However, most activists, despite their skepticism, are hoping the store owners will sell so that the businesses can be replaced with movie theaters, parks and other entertainment for locals.

In addition to the buyout, there's also a problem with law enforcement. Speculation about slack laws and inadequate regulations has been a topic of discussion for the village and surrounding areas. Next month the Nebraska liquor control commission is going to meet with the local county board to discuss liquor licenses and complaints. It is hoped that the stores will not be able to renew their licenses due to these issues. This alone has most of the locals believing that eliminating these stores will increase the number of intoxicated drivers on the roads. Why? Tribes will have to travel more than the four miles it normally takes to get to and from the liquor store. This will increase drinking and driving in their opinion.

There is an investigation taking place with the liquor commission. Because of that, representatives of the beer stores as well as the tribes are unable to comment on this issue.

Native Americans have been struggling with addiction to alcohol for generations. It is thought that their genetics play a major role in this problem.

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, 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. There is no one specific gene that has been found by scientists that takes full responsibility for the growing rate of alcohol abuse.

According to, "The Lakota Hope street ministry in Whiteclay is looking to raise at least $6.3 million to close the stores, which are only about 200 yards from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The officially dry reservation is plagued by high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome and encompasses some of the nation's poorest counties. Whiteclay only has about a dozen residents, yet the four stores sold 3.5 million cans of beer in 2015. The beer stores have remained opened for decades despite state investigations into alleged liquor law violations, lawsuits and protests that occasionally turned violent." also states that ministry founder Bruce BonFleur and his wife have lived in Whiteclay for nearly two decades, feeding people on the streets and launching programs designed to help members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. BonFleur said he has talked with the businesses, and "we believe that the beer store owners are ready to sell out."

Asheville Drug and Alcohol Treatment CenterIn 2012, Native Americans of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation actually found a 5 million dollar lawsuit against beer manufacturers. This was done in an attempt to help fight the devastation that alcohol has caused on their reservation for generations. While this might sound like an astronomical amount of money, they asked for that amount specifically so that it could be used for healthcare, child rehabilitation, drug and alcohol rehabilitation as well as social services. Alcohol abuse has wreaked havoc on Native American communities, especially because almost a third of the tribe's children suffer from fetal disorders related to their parent's alcohol abuse.

Though it took several years, the tribe did get a settlement of almost 13 million dollars in 2015. The tribe was satisfied with their settlement payment.

It's important to bring awareness to alcohol abuse, especially when it's plaguing a group of people, as in this instance. The more awareness that is brought, the better chance they will have of fighting and beating this addiction with the right help and rehabilitation.

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.

Quality Asheville Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center | Legacy Freedom

If you, or someone you love, are suffering from an alcohol or substance abuse problem and need help, consider Legacy Freedom of Asheville NC. We're a top rated Asheville drug and alcohol treatment center in Western NC. Addiction isn’t something that can be beaten easily. Often it requires extensive rehab and support. Our outpatient treatment center can offer both to you, when you’re ready. Addiction can leave you feeling sad, lonely, and angry. You are not alone. Legacy Freedom of Asheville is here to help you get back on track to a happier, healthy, drug free life with the best treatment in the area.

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