Fighting Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in the Native American Community

The Native American population is one of the most at-risk groups for substance abuse and alcoholism, due in large part to a number of socioeconomic factors. Native American youth are particularly vulnerable, developing patterns of drug and alcohol use at an earlier age than other youth. We work to address this serious problem and to help the members of the Native American community change their FATE.

Native American Substance Abuse Statistics

The Native American community is particularly impacted by substance abuse and alcoholism, with some of the highest rates of any ethnic group. Another alarming trend is the much higher rates at which Native American youth abuse drugs and alcohol. By the numbers, here are some noteworthy facts about Native Americans and substance abuse:

Native Americans and Alcohol

  • Native Americans die from alcoholism at a rate that is 510 percent higher than other ethnic groups.
  • Native Americans are the most likely ethnic group (12.1 percent) to be “heavy drinkers,” defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion.
  • Native Americans are also the most likely group to be binge drinkers (29.6 percent)
  • Native Americans, both male and female, have the highest prevalence of weekly heavy drinking.
  • Native Americans are the most likely ethnic group (16.4 percent) to report early onset of drinking – that is, drinking before the age of 15.
  • Multiple studies show that Native Americans are at increased risk for alcohol-related traumas such as domestic violence, rape and assault.
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder rates are higher among Native Americans than the national average.
  • Overall, 11.7 percent of Native American deaths are alcohol-related.

(Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)

Native Americans and Substance Abuse

  • Nearly 20 percent of Native Americans currently abuse drugs.
  • Native American youth abuse heroin and prescription drugs at a rate two to three times higher than the national average.
  • Eight percent of Native American eighth graders report regular marijuana use, compared with 1.3 percent of other 8th graders.
  • FBI offices located in Native American communities report that 40 to 50 percent of the violent crimes they investigate are tied to methamphetamine.
  • Native Americans suffer from opiate addiction at a higher rate than other ethnic groups, and are at elevated risk for overdose.

Change Your FATE Today

There is hope! Fighting Addiction Through Education (FATE) is a nonprofit organization that offers free seminars and an abundance of helpful resources in order to combat substance abuse in Oklahoma. One of our speakers will visit your community and equip you with knowledge and actionable steps. For more information about our free seminars and other programs, fill out the form below – we’ll be in touch with you shortly.

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