In 2008, an estimated 4.9 million people (1.6% of the U.S. population) were counted as having origins in any of the original peoples of North, South America, and Central America. Although alcoholism affects a great many American Indians, the rate of alcoholism among Native Americans is difficult to track. Here, we offer suggestions for where to find reliable statistics on alcohol use, abuse and addiction among native peoples. Please feel free to add your trusted resources, or ask questions in the comments section below. We welcome your feedback.
1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – SAMHSA’s national survey on drug use and health has been compiled into a report on substance abuse among American Indians adults and adolescents. The most recent synopses are based on 2004 to 2008 data on substance abuse and treatment needs among native people and includes reports on alcohol use and treatment among subgroups, including women, men, uninsured people, and those living in poverty. The free .pdf file versions are available on their website or by searching for keyword phrase: “Substance Use among American Indian or Alaska Native” adults or adolescents. However, a better way to find statistics related to alcohol use would be to search their site for keywords: “American Indian” and “alcohol use”
2. The Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHD) – This office, under the CDC, offers fast stats on overall American Indian population, American Indian alcohol use prevalence, and health disparities in relation to substance abuse as well as links to other government sites with more statistics.
3. Indian Health Services (IHS) – The Indian Health Services is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services which helps provide health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives, including alcoholism treatment. Although information about alcohol abuse and prevalence is quite difficult to find on their website, the IHS does have a summary of health disparities and mortality statistics for alcohol induced deaths, based on the most recent U.S. census. And some information on alcohol use and substance abuse statistics for American Indians . You are also encouraged, via the website, to contact the IHS Public Affairs Staff at 301-443-3593 if you have more questions and to be referred to the best information.
4. The U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) – The USDOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics offers statistics on American Indians and Crime, and offers information on alcohol related crimes therein.
5. Harvard School of Public Health database – The HSPH offers a directory of research, findings and reports on alcohol abuse is open to the public. You can search for keyword terms such as “native american alcohol statistics” and find relevant research to integrate into your work.
American Indian alcoholism questions
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