Larry Spotted Crow Mann: Substance abuse ruins tribal nations

Larry Spotted Crow Mann

Writer Larry Spotted Crow Mann addresses the effects of alcohol and drug abuse in Indian Country:
Since the landing of the Mayflower and up until today, the destructive and insidious force of alcohol has kept up a choking pace within tribal communities, tailor fitting its turmoil for each generation and time. Cheerful faces on social media holding up a beer like it’s the Stanley Cup— alcohol has shown the tenacious ability to have us celebrate and consume it despite the catastrophic rate at which it cripples our communities.

So what has alcohol and drugs really done for us lately? Teen suicide, birth defects, break up of families, violence in the home and community, high incarceration rates and detrimental to the education of our youth. This, not so sobering list goes on and on.

In a 2008 report from the CDC, 11.7 percent of deaths among Native Americans and Alaska Natives between 2001 and 2005 were alcohol-related, compared with 3.3 percent for the U.S.A as a whole. Native American fatalities 66 percent of victims of alcohol were younger than 50. Seven percent were less than 20 years old.

A 2010 CDC report says 51.3 percent adults 18 years of age and over are regular drinkers.

According to the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, the proportion of Native American families with an absent mother or father is twice that of the general population.

Get the Story:
Larry Spotted Crow Mann: Booze, Drugs and the Brutal Efficiency of Unnatural Selection (Indian Country Today 8/7)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Report:
Alcohol Poisoning Deaths (January 2015)

Related Stories
Senate committee examines costs of substance abuse on tribes (07/30)
Senate panel sets hearing on substance abuse in Indian Country (07/27)
Ivan Star: Ignoring alcoholism leads to destruction of the Lakota (01/29)
Native Sun News: Alcohol a common factor in Rapid City murders (01/29)
CDC reports high rate of alcohol poisoning deaths among Natives (01/07)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Alcohol is the most devastating weapon (12/05)
Tim Giago: Treat alcoholism and drug addictions as diseases (07/21)
Tim Giago: Alcohol is a red flag that has been waving too long (01/16)

Join the Conversation