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Native Addiction Services by State

Native Addiction Services by State

Native American Drug and Alcohol Treatment in the USA

Drug and alcohol addiction impacts the Native American/Alaskan Native reservations and people throughout the US with so many people unable to get the right help for their addictions. A report published in the National Institute of Health in the US showed that American Indians and Alaskan Natives have some of the highest rates of substance abuse problems within the US. A study was conducted with 45 different Native Americans, who were alcoholics; all hospitalized, and within post-treatment, only seven improved showing significant changes. One other study showed 28% of American Indians who received residential and outpatient care showed major improvement within four years of aftercare. This study was done with over 600 different individuals battling addiction. With the right type of treatment, a person battling addiction can overcome it and lead a normal life, but for many, the treatment is not always available.

Many native reservations have treatment programs available, but this is not always the case across the US, while most American Indians and Alaskan Natives are unable to find programs, specifically for them. According to the SAMHSA, one in eight Alaska Natives and American Indians who were older than twelve years got classified as having a substance abuse issue. Within the rural areas, a person is more likely to find treatment programs operated by Indian Health Services and Tribal Governments, while unfortunately many of these programs are only able to operate outpatient services. American Indian and Alaskan Native treatment programs are there to assist residents of the reservation and people of Native American descent and background. These programs can be quite successful when applied properly, and the person shows a certain dedication to achieving complete recovery.

Alcohol abuse continues to be a major issue in the US among all of its residents, but American Indians throughout history have had a stigma attached to their culture for battling alcohol abuse. When a survey was conducted with American Indian death certificates it showed that over a four year period; alcohol being the cause of death, was four times as common than in the rest of the American population. Many of these deaths occurred from suicide, homicide, liver disease, and traffic collisions. Many times alcohol abuse will lead to an abuse of other drugs and substances and this will only make the already existing problems more difficult to handle while creating new issues to deal with.

Why is drug and alcohol addiction so prominent in Native American communities, and is there is help available?

Drug and alcohol addiction in Native American communities can be associated with many different factors, but poverty and crime are a major player. Many Native American communities face high unemployment rates, with many families living below the poverty line. Because of this, addiction can occur, but fortunately, there are drug and alcohol treatment programs, specifically available for Native Americans and people of Indian descent. These programs are geared specifically towards their culture and show some good success in helping Native American residents become fully rehabilitated.

Drug and alcohol treatment programs combined with effective drug and alcohol prevention and education are the only real effective measures available to help curb this problem among American Indian and Alaskan Native communities. These programs can help youth make the right decisions while providing the needed support along the way. Many of these facilities provide the necessary treatment to help adults and can provide long term help through support groups and counseling. The problem with addiction in American Indian and Alaskan Native communities is still growing, but many more people are becoming aware of this growing issue and trying to do something about it while making ongoing differences in their respective communities.

Works Cited
“American Indians/Alaskan Natives and Substance Abuse Treatment Outcomes ” (
“Facilities Serving American Indians and Alaskan Natives” (
“Alcohol and Native Americans” (


marcel gemme author

Marcel Gemme

More Info

Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.