Native American and Alcohol –

Native American and Alcohol
The paper must conform to APA format and Klamath Community College writing standards. There must be a minimum of 4 in-text citations and a properly formatted reference page. See APA Writing Model.
The paper must be at least 6-pages minimum of written text. With 1 pictures, graphs, charts and other inserts and they are not considered written text.
Students are permitted to write Term Papers on any topic of interest involving narcotics and dangerous drugs, alcohol that is appropriate.
• Term papers must include at least one local, state or national statistic that is appropriate and related to the written topic.
• Term papers must include opinions or information about how media may, or may not; contribute to the use of Narcotics, Dangerous Drugs and Alcohol. The media may include newspapers, magazines, radio, television, movies, videos and the internet.
• Term papers must include lyrics from one song about the use of Narcotics, Dangerous Drugs or Alcohol and explain the effects it may, or may not, have on listeners.
• At least 4 references
I would like to do this on Native Americans and alcohol – Use anything/all out of my 7 papers and information I gathered below.
Alcohol, my permanent accessory
Alcohol, a party-time necessity
Alcohol, alternative to feeling like yourself
O Alcohol, I still drink to your health
I love you more than I did the week before
I discovered alcohol
Forget the caffe latte,
screw the raspberry iced tea
A Malibu and Coke for you, a G&T for me
Alcohol, Your songs resolve like
my life never will
When someone else is picking up the bill
I love you more than I did the week before
I discovered alcohol
O Alcohol, would you please forgive me?
For while I cannot love myself
I’ll use something else
I thought that Alcohol was just for those with
nothing else to do
I thought that drinking just to get drunk
was a waste of precious booze
But now I know that there’s a time
and there’s a place where I can choose
To walk the fine line between
self-control and self-abuse
I love you more than I did the week before
I discovered alcohol
Would you please ignore that you
found me on the floor
Trying on your camisole?
O Alcohol, would you please forgive me?
For while I cannot love myself
I’ll use something else
Would you please forgive me?
Would you please forgive me?
(Native Americans were first introduced to alcohol by the European settlers and traders. Alcohol was often traded for Native American goods, and possibly used to relax the Native Americans in order to receive a better trade. The newness of the substance had a great influence on the Native American culture. But over the years, research has shown that alcohol’s effects on this culture are also due to genetics.)
Reference – Winkel, Bethany. “Alcoholism among Native Americans.” Recover From Drug and Alcohol Addiction @ Treatment Solutions Network. Web. 15 Apr. 2011.
From a genetic standpoint, certain ethnic groups have a gene mutation that causes adverse reactions to drinking large amounts of alcohol. Groups that possess this “protective gene” include Chinese and Japanese populations, causing them to feel rapid heartbeat, headache, nausea and extreme drowsiness. Other groups, including Native Americans, do not possess this gene mutation, consequently reducing the side effects of heavy drinking.
“1 in 10 Native American Deaths Alcohol Related – Health – Addictions –” – Breaking News, Science and Tech News, World News, US News, Local News- Web. 15 Apr. 2011.
Tribes have the right to outlaw substances on their lands as a part of their inherent rights as domestic dependent nations. For example, Montana legally allows the sale of alcohol as does the rest of the United States, but the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations in the state prohibit it.[4] The jurisdictional issues between native and federal law created loopholes and opportunities for the cartels to begin business
Alcohol Abuse in Native Communities
The damaging and fatal effects of alcoholism and alcohol abuse experienced by native Americans need to be studied and significantly reduced and alternative healthy options and lifestyles need to be developed sooner rather than later if these native communities are to prosper.
Alcohol Abuse and Societal Problems among the Alaska Natives
In the 1950’s, significant numbers of Alaska Natives were introduced to alcohol, which quickly became an incapacitating and fatal reality.
By the early 1970’s, for instance, alcoholism had become a leading cause of death among Alaska Natives.
The Alaska Native suicide rate, which was not significantly different from the national averages throughout the 1950’s, began to rise dramatically in the 1970’s.
Other indicators of severe behavioral health and societal breakdown began to significantly increase during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Examples of this societal downturn include the following: avoidable accidents, murder, assault, psychological depression, and sex crimes (including sex crimes against children).
Similar to Native suicides, these anti-social and crippling community behaviors were, for the most part, directly related to alcohol abuse. Furthermore, these negative societal patterns were clearly observable throughout the 1980’s.
Today, substance abuse is the number one debilitating force among Alaska Natives. More precisely, the suicide rate for Alaska Natives is four times more than the national average and almost 80% of all Alaska Native deaths are related to alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
Additionally, the rate of fetal alcohol syndrome among Alaska Natives is the highest for any American population researched to date (4.2 per 1,000 live births).
It is clear that drug and alcohol abuse will continue to destroy the lives of numerous Alaska Natives unless these Natives can be shown how to and encouraged to focus on and actively choose more positive options to their destructive behavioral patterns and lifestyles. Keene, Michael. “Alcoholism – An Unfortunate Consequence for Native Americans.” Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 17 Apr. 2011.


Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse in the Village

The following represents some of the key alcohol abuse statistics and facts regarding alcohol abuse by Native Indians.

•Alcohol and drug abuse are community and family problems among Indians. This abuse harms all tribal members, including the abuser and his/her family, friends, and associates.

•The negative consequences of alcohol and substance abuse in Indian communities are mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional.

•In Indian communities, alcoholism is a multi-generational phenomenon. Currently, alcohol dependence is negatively affecting three or four generations and will affect most certainly affect future generations.

•Alcoholism in Indian communities is the tip of an iceberg. That is, alcohol dependence sits on top of a huge mass of other underlying problems.

•Alcohol dependency frequently co-exists in Indian communities with other problems such as stress-related acting out, cultural shame, depression, and self-hate.


Alcohol Abuse in Native Communities: Conclusion

According to alcoholism and alcohol abuse statistics, alcohol abuse in native communities is a serious problem. Indeed, numerous Native Hawaiian and Native Americans, including their youth, have an unfortunate history of suffering from alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

The destructive and fatal consequences of alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse experienced by native Americans need to be studied and significantly reduced and alternative healthy options and lifestyles need to be developed sooner rather than later if these native communities are to prosper.

Here is more information: Kara Emily Krantz

The American Indians and Alaskan Natives come from a civilization rich in culture and infused with spirituality. Many of their traditions date back thousands of years, far before the White man ever stepped on American soil and claimed it as their own. In this respect, the American Indian and Alaskan Native’s bloodlines run deep, and many of the wounds committed upon their ancestors continue to bleed for contemporary Native’s today.

The American Indian’s self and stories hold many implications for the field of counseling and the mental health practitioner. An effective counselor needs to be aware of the many varying aspects surrounding an Indian’s individual identity, culture, and traditions. With over 505 federally recognized tribes and 252 different languages, Native Americans not only come from various tribal groups with unique traditions, customs, and beliefs, but they also come from varying settings including rural, urban, or reservation (Garrett & Myers, 1996). Therefore, similar to many clinical settings, the individual needs to be viewed as precisely that: an individual, with a very particular and personal history, story, and life-world. Nothing should be assumed about the Native American individual, and a counselor’s learning needs to involve a complete self-education of the individual presenting before them.

A crucial element to developing a positive relationship with a Native American client requires the counselor to understand the psychological aspects of the client’s cultural experience. Historically, Native Americans have experienced heinous attempts to extinguish their tribal culture and language, as well as forcing them to adopt values and ways of the dominant culture. (Bichsel & Mallinckrodt, 2001) This imposed acculturation has occurred through such methods as punishment for speaking the tribal language, forced separation of children from parents, as well as the boarding school system itself (Sue & Sue, 2002: Bichsel & Mallinckrodt, 2001). A history of such grievances has naturally created special psychological and emotional issues for numerous Native Americans, as well as an intergenerational division which still remains today as a powerful influence on cultural identity, particularly for the older generations (Garrett & Pichette, 2000).

In appreciating the history of the Native American, a counselor must also have an understanding of Native American spiritual loss and its implications, specifically through the expression of cultural empathy. For example, Brown (1991) described the loss of native languages as “perhaps the greatest tragedy to come upon Native American groups” (p.54), because language is the basis for understanding and transmitting a tribe’s culture. It is important for a counselor to communicate genuine respect for individual, family, community, and tribal ways, as well as to listen deeply and nonjudgementally to whatever struggles the client wishes to share (Olsen, 2003).

Formal counseling services are underutilized by Native Americans and among those who use these services, the drop-out rates are among the highest of any ethnic group. Under-use of such services has been attributed to mistrust of White counselors, differing cultural views of the healing process, as well as differing cultural values in general

All groups of women generally preferred a nondirective counseling style. However, women with a strong commitment to Native American culture expressed the lowest preference level for this nondirective style. All groups, however, preferred a counselor of the same sex and ethnicity, one who was culturally sensitive, and one who use a style characterized by “works with me to determine options” versus “tells me what to do.” However, for women who only identified with Anglo culture, preferences for sex and ethnicity were not strong.

For personal problems, women committed to Native American culture had much higher preferences for female counselors of the same ethnicity, compared to their preferences if the problem was vocational. Hypotheses for why this occurs include the idea that perhaps these women believe that a fellow Native American women who is culturally aware as a counselor would have the best chance of helping them with the ethnic identity status they assume in relating to their families.

Some of Bichsel & Mallinckrodt’s results clearly suggest that Anglo counselors may be regarded as competent and approachable if they can demonstrate their cultural awareness and sensitivity. The results of this study support the need for counselors to receive thorough training about Native American cultural issues and values to provide competent and ethically appropriate counseling to this under-served population. It is important to remember that the results of this study were formulated from a single population of women on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, and are therefore potentially inapplicable to all Native women, specifically those who do not live on reservations. The influence of positively or negatively confirmed expectations on the counseling process might be a fruitful area for further research.

There are numerous social and psychosocial issues that are specific problems for the Native American population. These issues include education, acculturation conflicts, as well as issues of domestic abuse, suicide, and substance abuse.

Cooperation is another value, implicated in the schoolroom where some Native American children may appear unmotivated when merely they are reluctant to remain in competition with their peers, an inappropriate expression of individuality. Noninterference is also promoted with the Native American population, where observation is better than impulsive action or interference. Consequently, parental relations with children are often less punitive and more indulgent than the majority culture. Children are rarely told what do, but rather encouraged to determine their own decisions. It is important to be careful in delineating the line between child neglect and a more spiritual nature of child rearing. In this way, nonverbal communication is also key among this culture, and it is important to keep in mind that looking an elder directly in the eye may be actually a sign of respect rather than the assumed disrespect such an action indicates among the majority culture. Therefore, “it is important to determine whether specific behaviors are due to cultural values or are actual problems” (Sue & Sue, 2001, p317) among individuals of varying cultures.

Time orientation is unique among the Native Americans, as well, where life is lived fully in the present and things are accomplished according to rational order rather than deadlines. Naturally, spirituality is also highly valued within the Native American community; perhaps why conceptions such as the sweat lodge and vision quests are often used to establish connections between the mind, body, and spirit. In this way, positive emotions can be therapeutic, as well as the negative. Medicine is “in each event, memory, place, or person” (Sue & Sue, 2001, p317) and the counselor should be aware of these cumulative curative experiences.

For counseling purposes, it is also of considerable importance to comprehend the value of the arts within the Native American community. Native American Indians regard art as a crucial element of life, and not merely as a separate aesthetic ideal. Native people see “painting as indistinct from dancing, dancing as indistinct from worship, and worship as indistinct from living (Dufrene & Coleman, 1994). Counseling for this population must respect the spiritual, symbolic, and artistic dimensions of Native American culture. For example, counseling sessions should perhaps begin and end with a prayer that would be acceptable to the client, for many Native Americans believe that healers can only be successful if they seek spiritual aid. Also, instead of relying solely on verbal communication for therapy, counselors working with Native Americans may consider creative arts therapies such as art, dance, music, or drama therapy.

The concept of choice is integral to the Native American way of life. For every choice there is a non-choice, or some kind of alternative that was decided against. Through the understanding that everything in life has meaning and purpose, the goal in counseling becomes one of assisting Native American clients in discovering their purpose, examining their assumptions, seeking an awareness of personal and universal truths, and making choices that allow them to exist in a state of harmony and balance within the Circle of Life (Garrett & Myers, 1996). In this multidirectional approach prescribed by the Rule of Opposites, the ultimate goal is to find meaning in both pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, positives and negatives. A shift in perspective allows Native American individuals to seek balance by realizing that everything serves a valuable and useful function in their lives. (Garrett & Myers)

It is abundantly apparent that the Native American culture is one filled with both painful pasts and precious principles. High spiritual in nature, the Native American is often searching for not only peace within the self, but also peace within the earth that enfolds all life. Many Native American beliefs are deeply moving, and, as Olsen (2003) profoundly points out at the end of her piece on Native American spiritual loss, “perhaps counselors are also longing to find meaning… and could learn from Native American lessons that will help them in their personal lives and in their work with all of their clients”


Olsen, M.J. (2003). Counselor understanding of Native American spiritual loss. Counseling and Values, 47, 109-117.

Thomason, T.C. (2000). Issues in the treatment of Native Americans with alcohol problems. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 28.