Substance and Behavioral Addictions among American Indian and Alaska Native Populations PMC

Substance and Behavioral Addictions among American Indian and Alaska Native Populations PMC

Services include addictions psychiatry; adult therapy and psychiatry; family, couples, and group therapy; and trauma, PTSD therapy. "My guess is that 90 percent of those cases include a parent or a grandparent who has fetal alcohol effects or syndrome, and I think the children, as well," says Fineday. Behavioral addictions are defined as dysregulated behaviors aimed to satisfy appetitive needs that can result in unwanted consequences [79].

Therefore, the higher levels of problems within the Indian population may indicate that those who do use alcohol drink at exceptionally high levels. Unlike the rates of illicit drug use, which tend to fluctuate over time, alcohol use among Indian youth has remained stable since 1975. Although tribal differences in drinking exist for adults, Indian adolescents seem to drink at similar levels regardless of tribe. In addition, higher levels of alcohol use have been found among Indian youth who live on reservations (Beauvais 1992), youth who attend boarding schools (Dick et al. 1993), and school dropouts (Beauvais et al. 1996).

Explanations of Tribal Variations in Rates

Two longitudinal studies of adult Indian drinkers provide significant findings about drinking careers among the adult American Indian population. In addition to the above themes, the literature has identified other variables within some communities as influential in substance abuse among Indian youth (Winfree and Griffiths, 1985). Of particular importance is the influence of norms in the home as a predisposing factor to association with abusing peer groups (see Oetting and Beauvais, 1989; Beauvais, 1992).

Perhaps the most powerful and effective solutions will come through a recommitment to traditional Indian values and beliefs. Combined with a concerted and consistent message from the many social support systems in Indian communities, that approach will, one hopes, lead to a substantial reduction in alcohol-related problems. There is a great deal of heavy and problematic drinking and therefore alcohol-involved stats on alcoholism mortality among American Indians, but there are a number of positive findings as well. While the rates of heavy drinking for youth and adults and rates of death from alcohol-involved causes are very high overall, a lower proportion of the adult population in many of these groups is drinking. Therefore, the problem of alcohol misuse is highly concentrated within most Indian communities.

Contemporary reservation school situations

Third, ARDI does not estimate AADs for several conditions (e.g., tuberculosis, pneumonia, hepatitis C,
and colon cancer) for which alcohol is believed to be an important risk factor but for which suitable pooled risk estimates are
not available. Finally, bridged-race census estimates used in this report are based on multiple race
categories; use of denominators based on other race categorization methods (e.g., 2000 U.S. Census data or tribal census data) would result in higher
rates than reported. The prevalence of alcohol use in the past year and month are lower for the American Indian and Alaska Native population compared to the general U.S. population, while binge drinking remains similar across other races at around 21%.

The younger men in the study Bob and Joe expressed that they would like to be in these roles someday. Each year schools within each region are randomly drawn from the sampling frame to reflect the regional distribution of American Indian persons residing in each stratum based on the US 2010 Census data. Because of the small number of schools in the Northeast, Southern Plains, and Southeast, all schools and/or school districts meeting the requirements of the sample are invited to participate.

Economic Impacts of Alcohol's Illegal Status

Researchers assessed frequency and amount of alcohol consumed in open response format and findings indicated that males drank the equivalent of 1–2 glasses of wine once per week whereas females drank 1–2 glasses of wine once or twice per month [30]. One potential risk factor for this disparity is that historical and cultural norms have been more permissive of men drinking larger quantities of alcohol [30]. These norms are often passed on generationally, further perpetuating the pattern of alcohol abuse [30]. Risk factors are predictors or correlates of maladaptive behaviors or adverse conditions that exist at the structural, community, family, interpersonal, or individual levels [14] (Please see Supplementary Table S1). The presence of risk factors increases the chances that an individual will develop a disorder compared to someone else without this risk [15].

The path to move forward must include interventions that capitalize on AIANs’ strengths and resilience. These interventions and initiatives must be done in a culturally respectful and sensitive manner. Future research must also recognize the ecological and historical context for addictive behaviors among AIANs. Future work must also be based on appropriate treatment options that incorporate cultural traditions and ways of healing.

Alcohol and cultural genocide

Other behavioral addictions probably exist in this community, as in any community, but almost no research exists. Consistent with prior research in non-AIAN samples, poverty, acculturation, and personality disorders [95,96,97,98] appear to be risk factors for addiction in AIAN individuals as well [33,43,50]. Multiple risk factors contribute to the higher prevalence of these addictions, with many of these factors arguably tracing back to the historical trauma experienced by AIANs. Previous research has established historical trauma as directly linked to poor health outcomes and increased substance use [20,21,22,26,27,28,29,99]. The repercussions of historical trauma continue to be evidenced in current structural racism and social determinants of health that adversely impact AIANs’ overall health and outweigh their coping resources [27,33,43].

  • The White Earth Reservation got a five-year state grant to fight prenatal alcohol exposure.
  • One potential risk factor for this disparity is that historical and cultural norms have been more permissive of men drinking larger quantities of alcohol [30].
  • The PI agreed to provide a summary of the results to tribal leaders and domestic violence treatment providers serving the study community.
  • By placing these observations among the population at large as well as other subgroups at risk, the authors depart from the all too common practice of singling out AIAN individuals and, thereby, reduce the likelihood of further stigmatizing the latter’s particular struggle with alcohol use and dependence.
  • SAMHSA also shares several resources for different mental health services for older adults.
  • Appetitive-related behaviors can occur on a continuum; repetitive engagement in such behaviors despite negative consequences qualifies them as addictions [79].

The reservation system was created following the expansion of the United States into tribal lands throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, during United States territorial acquisitions. This effort started with the Indian Appropriations Act of 1887,[2] which created the first reservations. Alcohol consumption among Native Americans has also been linked to targeted hate crimes, such as Indian rolling, the Anchorage paintball attacks, the Saskatoon freezing deaths, and cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Reasons for these health disparities include "cultural barriers, geographic isolation, inadequate sewage disposal, and economic factors."[23] However, there are many indicators that the health status of Native Americans has greatly improved in the previous decades. Our study was limited to one Tribal community, and our sample of respondents were non-randomly selected. Nevertheless, our sample represents a range of community experts with deep personal and professional knowledge of the alcohol environment of their community. We believe their insights can guide future efforts to assess and reduce harms related to alcohol availability in Tribal nations.

alcoholism on indian reservations statistics

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