Drug Abuse Among Native Americans

1565 Words 7 Pages
Some of the biggest concerns in the Native American community today are the immense presence of alcoholism and drug abuse. According to the Indian Health Services, the rate of alcoholism among Native Americans is six times the U.S. average; and according to multiple studies, there are higher rates of substance use and abuse in the Native American community. Unfortunately, the large “majority of Americans will never truly understand how damaging alcohol has been for Native Americans, perhaps more devastating than any disease, gun, massacre, or policy” (Bentley). “Loss of culture has been the primary cause of many of Native American’s existing social problems, especially those associated with alcohol … methods to measure Native American cultural …show more content…
As a result, alcohol has destroyed the lives of many on the reservations in many Native American communities in the United States. It is believed that Native Americans are much more susceptible to alcoholism due to a combination of genetic, cultural, and environmental factors. There have been some studies that have been done in order to determine the main theory as to why Native Americans are more susceptible to alcoholism. Unfortunately, Native Americans are believed to be “predisposed to alcoholism because of differences in the way they metabolize alcohol” (“In This”). In this theory they focus on alcohol metabolism to try to understand why alcohol dependence rates are so high within the Native American population. Alcoholism not only impacts adults but also children in the form of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE). A piece of the puzzle against fighting and defeating alcohol is doctoring the people who are suffering from, affected by, and at a high risk of the disease of …show more content…
Some effects of alcoholism include “decreased brain function such as mood, attention, cognition, judgment and memory altercation in a negative direction” (Chait). Alcohol is such a depressant that it can cause clinical depression which can further lead to feelings of anxiety, major sadness, increased tiredness, and even death. Seriously heavy drinking abuse and alcoholism will eventually led to medical issues such as the breakdown of organ systems, malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, liver cirrhosis, anemia, dehydration, brain damage, and heart damage. Once an individual is dependent on alcohol, his/her odds of dependency on all other addictions increases. A few of the negative effects of substance abuse include health problems, behavioral problems, and effects on the brain. Some health problems include weakening the immune system, the cause of nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, and can be the cause of seizures, strokes and widespread brain damage that can impact all aspects of daily life by causing problems with memory, attention and decision-making, including sustained mental confusion and permanent brain damage. Substance abuse can affect the brain by hijacking the brain’s “reward” circuit (which is part of the limbic system) causing unusually large amounts of dopamine to flood the system. The behavioral problems associated with substance abuse include, paranoia,

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