Drug Abuse Among Native Americans

Good Essays
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,

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    A depressant is something that reduces functional or nervous activity, which then affects motor skills and basic decision making skills. Alcohol places more lethargy on depressed drinkers. Teens and adults are more likely to become suicidal and homicidal when drinking. Based on the amount of alcohol put into your system, your motor skills and ability to make logical choices become impaired. “40% of people who abuse alcohol will have depressive symptoms” (Alcohol Rehab): which goes to show that the use of alcohol creates more stressful and depressed mindsets.…

    • 1049 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    long term drinking can result in permanence brain damage, series mental health problems and alcohol dependence or alcoholism . Alcohol can cause high blood pressure , which increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. drinking heavily can cause brain damage and , also kidney failure . (now your limits info/nown.com.) “Drinking alcohol is the second thing to get cancer in the mouth also the throat .…

    • 2046 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Alcohol Abuse In My Family

    • 1058 Words
    • 5 Pages

    But there is a risk factor. People who already abuse alcohol when faced with family death, brake up or loss of work they are at greater risk of becoming a full blown alcoholic. Major problems include the risk of the abuse turning into alcoholism, Alcoholism has a lot of the same symptoms as alcohol abuse but with a physical dependency. If you physically relay on alcohol or feel compelled to drink you are an alcoholic. Physical health issues include Anxiety or jumpiness, Shakiness or trembling, Sweating, Nausea and vomiting, Insomnia, Depression, Irritability, Fatigue, Loss of appetite and Headache.…

    • 1058 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Anemia has a lot of terrible symptoms, just some including extreme fatigue, fast heartbeat, and chest pains. Abusing alcohol could change the way a brain works and looks, since it interferes with a brain’s communication pathways. This would make it harder for someone to think or change their behaviors. Too much alcohol can cause a…

    • 445 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Alcoholism Treatment Essay

    • 1200 Words
    • 5 Pages

    This being defined as problem drinking, or the development of an alcohol use disorder, after the age of 60. One main area of concern relates to the impact that alcoholism can have on chronic health conditions often seen in senior populations such as diabetes, high blood pressure, other heart disease, dementia, and gastro-intestinal disorders. The other major concerns lie in alcoholism contributing to higher-risks associated with accidental injuries including falls, car accidents, and a loss of balance and equilibrium; and dangers from a lack of good judgment and decision-making when under the influence. Seniors are also at greater risk for mental health diagnoses such as depression and anxiety. What are the dangers of alcoholism?…

    • 1200 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    15). There is no doubt that the horrors that resulted from being forced to attend residential schools has resulted in many Aboriginal individuals turning to substances to try to alleviate their suffering. Thus, high rates of substance abuse within Aboriginal communities have become generational in nature, that is, that they have been inadvertently inherited (Smillie-Adjarkwa, 2009). With this in mind, it seems ostensive that generation after generation bears the burden of substance abuse, moreover, the emotional toll that accompanies it. This not to say that substance abuse such as alcoholism is inherited; rather, the effects of one’s past traumas are passed down from generation to…

    • 1978 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Jeffrey Ixcol Mr. Bolivar 11/01/16 Period 4 Alcoholism Alcoholism is where a person that’s drinking so much that they are addicted to it. Which also when the person drinks a lot they will depend on alcohol they have mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting from alcohol dependency . Alcoholism is affecting our society by young adults or adults being addicted to alcoholism which they are having the disease of alcoholism. The reason why alcoholism is affecting our society is because a lot of people dink a lot just to drink and release whatever wrong they are feeling. What is alcoholism ?…

    • 1059 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A person may have issues with processing thoughts, memories, problem- solving, or decision making. These are all caused by the loss of brain tissue, and scar tissue. There are many different dangers of addiction for individuals and society. For instance, alcohol addiction can put a person and others at risk. A person who is suffering from alcohol addiction are capable of drinking and driving.…

    • 1536 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Anxiety In Teens

    • 1782 Words
    • 8 Pages

    This method of self-medication will only make his or her mental disorder worse (“Anxiety Disorder and Addiction” 1). Teens who have an anxiety disorder will often engage in unhealthy binge drinking. Especially in young people, drinking large amounts of alcohol in one sitting will cause alcohol poisoning, blackouts, and increased risk of alcohol addiction (Hand 41). According to a study by “Behaviour Research and Therapy”, between ten and 40 percent of alcoholics have some form of an anxiety disorder and between ten and 20 percent of anxiety suffers abuse alcohol and other drugs. The physical symptoms of anxiety can include chest and stomach pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, and weakness.…

    • 1782 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This can include their family, friends, and coworkers. Drugs can be highly addictive and hard to stop using once they have been started. Drugs are chemicals that will affect the body and brain which may leave a lasting effect on the person, even after they are not taking the drugs anymore (“Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction”). This can lead to the inability to work, which causes other obstacles for…

    • 1113 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays