Native Americans and Alcohol Use

Native Americans and Alcohol UseNative Americans are not the only people who use and abuse alcohol, but they do greatly struggle with this issue. In fact, Native American youths are as susceptible to addiction as other youths of other ethnicities, but alcoholism has historically plagued this people group, and it continues to do so today. If you or a Native American loved one struggles with alcohol abuse, then seek professional help as soon as possible to promote recovery and long-term sobriety.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Most people drink alcohol at some point in their life, but alcoholics come to depend on it to function. Many people do not drink to become an alcoholic, but they find that they enjoy the effects of drinking, so they continue to do so until they develop a problem. In fact, many people abuse alcohol because it creates any of the following effects:

  • Lowers inhibitions
  • Helps people cope with problems
  • Eases stress/anxiety

Some people have severe social anxiety, or they are uncomfortable around large groups of people. However, drinking alcohol helps people relax, so some people use drinking as a social lubricant. Also, some people abuse alcohol because it helps them cope with problem. Some people struggle with the effects of trauma, job loss or family stress, and drinking problems away is easier than confronting them. Lastly, alcohol helps reduce stress and/or anxiety, so drinking can help people function in everyday life.

Statistics on Native American Alcohol Abuse

Almost all ethnic groups use alcohol for either recreational use and/or special occasions, but Native Americans tend to struggle with alcohol abuse, as reflected in the following statistics from NIH.gov:

  • Native American youths typically abuse alcohol at a younger age than other people groups, and they often drink larger amounts
  • As a result of the aforementioned statistic, Native Americans often experience more health problems from drinking
  • Native Americans are almost twice as likely to obtain alcohol from an adult and almost twice as likely to obtain alcohol by someone younger than 21

Native Americans who start drinking at a younger age will often experience liver damage, alcohol-related automobile accidents, suicide, homicide and fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcoholism can develop at any age, and the younger someone is when she first abuses alcohol, the more problems she may experience in the long run. Young people who drink on a regular basis may permanently damage their growing bodies, but they are also less aware of the long-term consequences, which means Native Americans need considerable help to address this dangerous issue.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment for Native Americans

If you or a Native American loved one is addicted to alcohol, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you find the best treatment available. Call today for instant, confidential support.