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How to Combat Alcoholism in Native American Communities

Every year, people spend more than $6.5 billion on the market for drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics. Since 2018, this industry has been growing by about 1.7% each year on average.

Many people are concerned about the prevalence of alcoholism in Native American communities. There is a long list of factors that contribute to higher rates of alcoholism among Native American populations.

Struggling to overcome an addiction is difficult, even under the best of circumstances. It is essential to have a plan that helps you navigate the recovery process as smoothly as possible. That may mean adjusting your plan to account for some of the factors that are unique to Native American communities.

So what are the most important things to do to overcome an addiction to alcohol? Read on to learn all about how Native American communities can help community members recover from addiction!

Indigenous Addiction Rates

Different ethnic groups experience different rates of addiction to different substances. However, when it comes to alcohol abuse, addiction rates are much higher among Native American populations. In fact, Native Americans choose alcohol as a coping mechanism more than any other drug.

There are many factors that contribute to these higher rates of alcohol addiction. For one thing, higher rates of poverty also tend to correlate with higher rates of alcoholism.

Poverty rates among Native American communities are higher than average. This likely accounts for part of their higher alcoholism abuse rates.

Underage Native American men and boys also start experimenting with alcohol at younger ages than other groups. When people start drinking when they are young, there is a much higher chance that they will develop an addiction later in life.

The Effects of Intergenerational Trauma

Intergenerational trauma is another driver of higher rates of Native American alcoholism. Some researchers even think this driver is bigger than all others. Many Native Americans have experienced abuse and other forms of suffering in past generations.

Researchers have studied how these experiences can affect descendants. If a father struggles with alcoholism, there is an increased chance that his children will struggle with similar issues. This is especially true when it comes to Native American men and boys.

So what can you do to overcome alcoholism, whatever its cause?

Make a List of Addiction Triggers

One of the most valuable ways to combat alcoholism is by making a list of triggers. Many alcoholics go through ups and downs as they try to drink less and less. Sometimes, they feel like they understand exactly what is going on and how they are going to respond to temptations to drink.

However, in other moments, they find it difficult to maintain perspective and avoid succumbing to temptation. This is the impact that triggers can have on the alcohol addiction recovery process. The strength that you feel in certain moments can disappear when you find yourself in a situation that triggers cravings for alcohol.

In the long run, the important thing is not to resist every trigger every time you encounter one. Instead, you want to learn from each trigger so that you can understand what is contributing to patterns of alcohol abuse.

In this sense, you can even think of this process as somewhat positive. Every time you encounter a trigger, you can write it down. As you iterate on this process, you will begin to understand more and more of your triggers.

Eventually, you may find that you do not encounter any new triggers. At that point, you will have a much clearer understanding of what increases the chance that you will be tempted to drink alcohol.

Fill Your Life With Healthy Activities

Once you have your list of triggers, you can start making plans to help combat them. One of the best ways to do this is by writing down activities that you can do when you encounter a trigger and feel like drinking.

Many people struggle with addiction because they focus on not drinking. However, focusing on not doing something keeps your attention on that thing. It is much more effective to distract yourself by focusing on some other positive activity.

But what if your current coping mechanisms do not help you resist a certain trigger? You can keep writing down new activities that you can try the next time you encounter that trigger.

As long as you keep trying new things, you will eventually discover effective coping mechanisms to resist each of your triggers.

Consider Finding an Indigenous Trauma Support Group

Finding a Native American trauma support group might go even further toward helping you overcome an addiction. Many people find renewed motivation when they hear about how others have overcome alcoholism.

On top of that, you can share your experiences and ask for advice about how you can improve your addiction recovery plan.

If necessary, you can also speak with people who have visited alcohol rehab centers. They may be able to share their experiences so that you can understand if visiting a rehab center might be the right choice for you.

Combating Alcoholism in Native American Communities

We hope learning about how to combat alcoholism in Native American communities has been helpful to you. Many aspects of alcohol addiction recovery are similar for everyone. However, there are also unique factors that can shape the addiction recovery journey for Native Americans.

Recovery may come faster if you account for these other factors in your recovery plan.

To learn more about how to combat alcoholism in Native American communities, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!

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