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?
Drug and alcohol addiction in Native American communities can be associated with many different factors, but poverty and crime are major players. 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.
Drug & Alcohol Services for Communities in the United States
There are countless communities within every state across the entire country, and drug and alcohol addiction do impact these communities, in small or large ways. Communities will come together to help people and families and ensure members of a community are safe and can live the life they want. When drugs and alcohol are involved, it will tend to bring the worse out of people, and cause problems such as crime and violence. Many communities will have access to physical and mental health support services, to help treat addiction. Local law enforcement will work with community leaders to address the problems of crime and keep members of the community safe. For example, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders can be considered one of the largest growing racial groups within the country. Unfortunately, like any other community within the United States, they will struggle with issues surrounding substance abuse and addiction. Many of the Asian American communities will offer support organizations and help Asian Americans who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Many communities are very tight-knit and will do everything possible to help people and families living there.