Alcohol Recovery for Native Americans
Native Americans are an ethnic group comprised of American Indians and Alaska Natives residing throughout North, South, and Central America. In 2012, there were an estimated 5.2 million Native Americans living throughout the United States. Alcoholism medical symptoms.
Native Americans have historically experienced a high prevalence of alcoholism. Understanding the causes and impact of alcoholism on this group and the recovery options available can help Native Americans find the necessary help.
This page includes information on:
Causes of Alcoholism Among Native Americans
Native Americans have some of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse among minority groups.
Certain factors may contribute to the development of alcohol use disorders among Native Americans as well as prevent them from seeking help. Economic issues, cultural loss, domestic abuse, and physical and mental health issues may put Native Americans at higher risk of alcoholism.
Although certain factors are believed to cause high rates of alcoholism among Native Americans, the specific reasons that people drink vary. Each individual is unique and influenced by economic, cultural, and other factors in different ways.
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Symptoms of Alcoholism
Some drinkers are able to moderate their alcohol use. But others may meet criteria for an alcohol use disorder (alcoholism). Professionals diagnose an alcohol use disorder when a person experiences significant problems in his or her life due to drinking.
Symptoms of an alcohol use disorder include:
Acute alcohol withdrawal can be quite dangerous and, in severe instances, even fatal, individuals at risk of experiencing severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome should be supervised by a medical professional.
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include:
Treatment for Alcoholism
Treatment can be extremely helpful for Native Americans or Alaska Natives struggling with alcohol problems. Different types of Native American alcohol treatment programs include:
Native American Recovery Services
Culturally sensitive treatment centers are aware of the influence of culture on a person's life and recovery. These treatment programs may offer activities that incorporate Native American culture, such as:
Native American recovery programs may also use traditional music, foods, crafts, and beadwork.
Native Americans seeking addiction treatment may also want to discuss including elders, spiritual leaders, and family members into treatment.
Native American Alcoholism Facts and Statistics
Find a Recovery Center
Finding a treatment program that fits your needs and understands your cultural background can be challenging. For assistance finding a Native American alcohol recovery center, call our helpline at 1-888-319-2606.
. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
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. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed tables. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Alcohol.