Native American Alcoholism and PEN-3 Model

In actuality, the problem of alcoholism among Native Americans is widely-spread. In fact, many Native American communities suffer from the growing number of alcoholics and the excessive consumption of alcohol on the regular basis. In this regard, cultural traditions and the current socioeconomic development along with a relatively low social and health care assistance to people suffering from alcoholism play the crucial part in the rise of alcoholism in Native American communities.

At the same time, it is possible to speak about positive perceptions of alcoholism within Native American communities. For instance, many communities perceive the consumption of alcohol as a symbol of transition of teens into the adult life. Therefore, the consumption of alcohol becomes prestigious and alcohol becomes a symbol of adulthood. At the same time, the consumption of alcohol by Native Americans is a sort of escape from severe reality for many Native American communities are decaying, whereas towns, where they live become more and more depopulated. As a result, Native Americans look for relaxation and salvation in the consumption of alcohol.

In this regard, it is important to dwell upon existential perceptions of alcohol and alcoholism in Native American communities. In fact, the consumption of alcohol has become a norm in Native American communities.
Since the acquaintance of Native Americans with alcohol, they have started to consume it excessively without any moderation that has led to disastrous effects for Native American communities. At the same time, these historical roots of alcoholism in Native American communities aggravate the problem and make Native Americans vulnerable to the development of alcoholism since the young age. In fact, the problem is that Native Americans perceive alcohol as a norm. They do not notice substantial harms caused by alcohol and they cannot refuse from alcohol consumption, which comprises a part of their cultural traditions. As a result, they carry on consuming alcohol, even though alcoholism sweeps away a considerable part of Native American communities.
At this point, it is important to place emphasis on negative perceptions of alcoholism in Native American communities. In fact, alcoholism has a negative impact not only on individuals consuming alcohol excessively and suffering from alcoholism. In actuality, alcoholism is an important social problem because family members and social environment suffer along with alcoholics. What is meant here is the fact that alcoholics have a destructive impact on their family life, while many families ruin under the impact of alcoholism because alcoholism provokes poverty, conflicts within the family, violence, and aggression. The social environment is also vulnerable to the negative impact of alcoholism because people living next to alcoholics also become subjects to the negative behavior from the part of alcoholics.

Obviously, alcoholism in Native American communities is a widely-spread problem. At the moment, many Native Americans consume alcohol excessively. They suffer from alcoholism but the problem is that they view alcohol consumption as a norm. As a result, they cannot understand negative effects of alcohol consumption not only for their health but also for their families and their social environment.

Broome, B., & Broome, R. (2007). Native Americans: Traditional healing. Urologic Nursing, 27(2), 161-173.
Cohen, K. (2003). Honoring the medicine: The essential guide to Native American healing. New York: One World Ballantine Books.

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