No: Date: How we can Help Native Americans and their Fight with Alcoholism in the Native American Family on a Federal Level through the School System and Family Lives Although alcoholism is a problem that can affect anyone and everyone, studies have established that the problem tends to follow certain lines of economic and ethnic divisions…
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Booker T. Washington in terms of overcoming addiction says, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles one has overcome trying to succeed.” Therefore, Native Americans who are no doubt facing obstacles but they should get rid of their addiction with alcoholism by overcoming the obstacles. In America, Native Americans have been known to over-indulge in drinking more than any other ethnic groups in the country. As a result of this, statistics indicate that nearly 12% of all deaths among the Native Americans are a result of using alcohol (Schinke et al 319). Most cases of traffic accidents, liver and heart problems, and cases of homicide and suicide are related to alcohol use and to some extent other substance abuse by the ethnic group. The legacy of manifest destiny contributed to the high rates of alcoholism in Native Americans by forcing the Native Americans to highly secluded lands that limited their political voice as intended by the federal government; in totality creating a snowball effect that would lead the Native Americans to decades of self-destruction related to alcoholism. The federal government is now focusing on ways that it can reverse this effect on the Native Americans and see the society to a reformation. Alcohol was a medium of exchange for Native American goods by European settlers during the pre-independence period in America. Because of the easy availability, Native Americans got accustomed to using the drink quite freely. The European traders often tricked the Native Americans into over-indulging in the drink so that they could get unfair trade with them. The effects of the drink were new and widely acclaimed in America so that a number of Native Americans found it fashionable to drink. The trend, however, continued past American independence to date (Sherman 45). Scientists studying these phenomenological high drinking rates have linked the use of alcohol to genetics. Studies have shown that some individuals experience gene mutation, which cause significant reactions to over-drinking alcohol. Those who posses this gene suffer worse side effects when they drink such as nausea, increased heartbeats, headache, and extreme drowsiness. This gene is common among the Chinese and Japanese, explaining their less indulgence in the drink (Young 112). Other groups, such as the Native Americans, however, do not possess this gene that mutates, therefore, do not experience adverse effects associated with drinking. Besides this genetic point of view, the environment and cultural tendencies of the Native Americans have played a great role in making it appropriate for them to indulge. When the European settler moved in to America and took over their land, Native Americans became an oppressed group. The European culture clashed heavily with that of Native Americans, creating a major conflict and depression on the side of the Native Americans. The native culture was presumed to be inferior to that of the dominant European group, and the Native Americans lost pride in their existence and developed a lack of will to protect their culture (Schinke et al 134). The
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