Native American Community: Problems with Substance Abuse

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Native American Community: Problems with Substance Abuse


The Native American community has experienced a lot of trauma throughout their history.  The past experiences continue to impact the generations today.  Along with historic trauma, the community has experienced a lot of problems with substance abuse where the main concern is alcohol.  Native American communities have many risk factors that contribute to the trouble with substance abuse; however, there are a handful of ways that the communities have found the ability to overcome and be resilient.  Substance abuse is a struggle for individuals and could be even harder for whole communities because it becomes normalized.  Although the community has found many ways to be resilient, there are other supports that could also be helpful. .

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Native American Community: Problems with Substance Abuse

        Any amount of trauma is an event that can lead to lifelong struggles, and it is something that is familiar to the Native American community.  Historical trauma has been the root of many issues within the population, and it has made substance abuse a problem for many generations.  While substance abuse is something that is hard to deal with, there are ways that the community can get the proper help that they need.  Although help is possible, it is crucial that those who help know how the risk factors can impact the process.  Resiliency is promoted when the community is together and can offer support to one another, and it is important to also provide more supports to ease the impact of substance abuse. 


Substance abuse impacts cultures and people all around the globe.  The Native American community has experienced many hardships, and alcohol has been used as a coping method.  Although it has been a way to numb memories, it was also normalized for generations as it become more frequently used and introduced in the community.  Resiliency has been a key factor in the healing process of the Native American community.  However, being resilient is not enough to end the generational cycles of substance abuse.  It is important that the population gets the help that they need, but it also important that they are able to bring the past struggles to the present to promote healing.

Issues of Prevalence

        Substance abuse in the Native American community is a prevalent issue that has many consequences.  In the past, alcohol usage has been a problem for this community, and it continues to be in the modern Native American communities (Cunningham, Solomon, & Murmoto, 2016).  The abuse of alcohol has been one of the leading causes of death and other threatening diseases within the Native American communities, which highlights the importance of giving the population the proper help that they need. 

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