For hundreds of years, Native Americans have been haunted by hardship and misery. A long history of alcoholism has plagued their people and taken lives. Alcohol is a thundercloud that hangs unfortunately over almost every Indian reservation in the country. It is a curse as it tears apart families and destroys culture. It’s also been proven that alcohol on Reservations is often a gateway to other illegal drugs. Alcohol is weakening the Native American community and driving them to the point of chaos.
Alcohol kills people from all over the world all the time, but no other group is massacred by drinks the way Native Americans are. According to NBC News, 12% of all Native American deaths are alcohol related. The United States has more alcohol related deaths than almost any other country, but they’re only at 3.3%. Alcohol related deaths consist of liver diseases, traffic accidents, homicide, suicide, and falling injuries. A large reason for the alcohol addiction in Native American communities originates way back to their original encounter with Europeans. Their people were being slaughtered, they were killed by both war and disease while their homeland was completely stripped from them. Native Americans turned to alcohol as a way to forget the horrors they had faced, unfortunately it has only made things worse for them.
Numerous Native American children have given accounts of alcohol related abuse. They claim that their fathers would come home drunk and have no problem hitting them. As it turned out, a survey revealed that a majority of abusive parents on the reservations were abused as kids as well. Alcohol has not only caused these parents to hit their children, but it’s resulting in a future generation that thinks it’s okay for parents to hit children.
Finally, the use and abuse of alcohol has proven to lead to the use of more deadly illegal drugs. One drug in particular is becoming more and more popular on reservations, methamphetamine. On some reservations, meth abuse has reached an incredible 30%. Meth is arguably the most deadly of drugs, seeing as it’s the most addictive. Alcohol is leading Native Americans to make even greater deadly life decisions.
Substance abuse has caused parents on reservations to partake in dangerous actions, setting examples for future generations. Each year, more and more Native Americans have abuse problems, and it’s only getting worse. Those who begin using drugs they cannot afford, turn to gambling. More often than not, gambling doesn’t turn out so well . As a result parents go home and take their anger out on their children. These abused children age to do the same, this is but one example of the vicious cycle caused by alcohol and other substances.