Breaking Stereotypes: Native Americans Aren’t Prone to Alcoholism
It is a common misconception that those of Native American descent are genetically more prone to become an alcoholic than others. However, a growing number of scientific studies have proven that Native Americans are not more biologically susceptible to alcoholism than other groups.
There are numerous factors that must be considered when looking at the risk factors that affect alcoholism and substance abuse. Anyone, no matter their race, may benefit from time in alcohol rehab centers if an addition becomes serious. It doesn’t matter if someone is white and lives on the East Coast or is Native American and lives in San Diego, California.
It is well known that rates of all types of addictions are elevated in the Native American population. However, they myth that those of Native American descent are just genetically predisposed to addition is certainly not true.
There is a definitive link between early childhood traumas and addition, and many Native Americans experience one or more of these traumas. Many older Native Americans had their family split up by the state, and that extreme trauma has sent ripple effects to the younger generations. This, in addition to low socioeconomic status, high rates of unemployment and elevated rates of chronic health problems also increase the risk of alcoholism, which may lead to stays in alcohol rehab centers from San Diego to the Gulf Coast.
What Can Help?
Propagating this myth about genetics can do nothing but hinder recovery for Native Americans. Looking more closely at the links between stress, poverty, poor health and trauma will help more than focusing on history and genes.
It is possible to change and improve circumstances in the here and now, but it is not helpful to just blame genetics or the past for these problems. If you know someone who is struggling with alcoholism, no matter their race, it would be wise to research good alcohol rehab centers in your area, whether you live in a small rural town or big town San Diego.