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Alcoholism and Addiction Among Indian Communities

By odfoxx Apr 14, 2013 959 Words
The Indians has been on this world for a long time and have encountered a lot of hardship while living on this earth. Indians are said to be the highest abusers of alcohol in the world. This has been going on for a very long; since around 1492. They used it for many of reasons to help them in their everyday lives. Who introduced Indians to alcohol?

It was said that most of the indigenous people from North America didn’t possess any type of alcohol. They were introduced to alcohol by the Europeans who arrived to their land in the Western Hemisphere. The only Indians that knew about alcohol or even consumed it were the ones living in the southwestern United States near Mexico who used alcohol for many things including things like celebration or rituals. The Native Americans had started drinking because of the changes that was made to their lives brought about by the arrival of other overseas people. Somewhere along the timeframe Native Americans Indians were being called "drunken Indians". This name was given to preclude that the Indians suffered more than they could handle along with high consumption of the liquor. Liquor was just the starting cause of their problems and more was to come. Why did Indians start drinking?

The Indians who used alcohol before 1492 fermented their beverages for specific rituals. The Tepehuanes and Tarahumaras Indians from the northern Mexico used alcohol for specific reasons. They fermented corn to produce tesvino. The tesvino was used or consumed at cere-monies that marked the important days of their lives. Alcohol was given to their children when they reached a certain age. This was to signify that they were about to enter into adulthood and drinking alcohol marks important times of their life during the rituals. The Pimas and Papagos Indians really did not consume alcohol; they stuck to their old traditional ways by using a sagua-ro cactus and extracting the intoxicating juices and using it as part of their ritual. They used this drink as a divine force to bring rain into world. In doing this it helped them decide how much cactus liquor should be drunk for the year. When they did that they would become intoxicated to the point that they didn’t know what was going on. The Aztecs Indians drank pulque made from a maguey plant out of Mexico, which is another form of alcohol. There are a lot of Indians still believed to be drinking too much alcohol which is very bad for them. They believed that whoev-er drank alcohol gained some type of power. The Mayas Indians used balche from bark and honey as a type of alcoholic mixture.

The effects that it has on the body
A lot of Indians drink so much that they don’t realize or understand the effect that it hav-ing on their body. There is still no clear explanation for why Indians drink so much or get ad-dicted to drinking so quickly. Is it because they start drinking at the age of 12? This is some-thing that we may never know. Some people perceive Indians as being weak hearted and don’t have any passion for themselves. Nonetheless, Indians who drink fail to acknowledge the fact that it is a chronic illness. Alcohol affects the brain like a disease and causes problems for people all over the world. Also, it destroys parts of the body and can cause problems like cirrhosis of the liver. These problems can be prevented if one can control their alcohol consumption. Women having babies who consume alcohol can hurt their babies. Some the babies between the ages of newborn to 14 years can get the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which is a pattern of mental and physical defects that is developed during the nine months women are pregnant. The fetus intakes almost everything the mother does; especially if they there are high levels of alcohol consumed during pregnancy. Also, the Indians can pass this along to their children within their genetic traits some may pick it but not all of them. There is a thing called flushing that is linked with your genes, that’s deals with your alcohol metabolism in your body. It’s basically the increased blood flow in your face and neck, this happens when different amount of alcohol is in your system. When Indians are drinking alcohol is also effect their brain, it’s a central nervous system depressant. It causes Indians to get in a depressed state, which leads to death. The Indians are the highest among deaths between 2001 and 2005 at 11.7 overall compared to the United States as a whole. How to prevent Alcohol?

Their was a law passed in 1986 called the Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which did not allow Indians to purchase or consume any more alcohol in the United States or American colonies. The only thing is that they can purchase al-cohol as individuals, and of their reservations. What is the reason for the law if they can still do that? The law is supposed to try and keep them safe, so there are no worries about them over in-dulging in alcohol. They just need to stop drinking all together and their will not be any more major problems within their community for years to come. Summary

In this research Indians do have a major drinking problem. The problem comes from their previous ancestors and was pass along to them. The main thing is to just stop drinking and to get you help or counseling. Then if the Europeans would of never introduced them to alcohol they probably would not be in the situation they are in now.

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