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Overcoming the Stigma

Various research works have shown that addiction to alcohol and drug abuse is a major problem among American Indians. With reference to this, it has been argued that American Indians and whites identify with the behavioral pattern in different terms (Holmes & Antell, 2001). The American Indians have constantly been blamed by the whites for the problem, which seems to spread quickly across the races (Holmes & Antell, 2001). This turn of events seems to perpetuate the problem since the politics of race hinder attempts to eradicate the drug menace (Holmes & Antell, 2001).

This paper will critically analyze the problem with reference to the Indian reservation located at Winnebago NE. The first section will address the problem of alcohol and drug addiction in the Indian reservation by giving a detailed description of the phenomenon. In this description, it is worthy noting that the American Indians are isolated as a race, the Euro-American approach of containing the problem has not been fully embraced, and the method of treatment is sometimes too lenient (Villanueva, Tonigan & Miller, 2007).

The paper will further present a proposal for an action to deal with the problem, giving details on how the action will be funded. This will be followed by a critical appraisal of the success of the action its potential outcomes. Along this line, the paper will present an analysis of the effect of the proposed action on psychologists and how the resultant consequences can be addressed. The last section of the paper will evaluate the possible outcome of the proposed action.

Description of the problem The fact that alcohol abuse and drug addiction is a serious problem affecting American Indians has been widely acknowledged. The abuse of alcohol and alcoholism in general has been identified as being among the leading causes of mortality in the American Indian population (Herz, 2000). In addition, there seems to be an inexplicably high rate of crime related to alcoholism such as driving under the influence of alcohol in the population (Spicer et al, 2003).

Other drug-related crime statistics are shown in figure 1. The connection between use of alcohol and involvement in serious crime, especially homicide has also been intensively studied (Herz, 2000). Investigations into the causes of homicide have concisely pointed at alcoholism and abuse of other drugs as the main causes of the variable elements in behavior among American Indians (Holmes & Antell, 2001). Figure 1: Drug related crime arrests in Nebraska Source: State Substance Abuse Statistics

The alcohol and dug abuse problems are so big that they American Indians identify them nationally as the disability that needs most attention (Saylors, 2003). The problems are so pervasive that they have been assimilated into the American Indian society as common societal problems, thus creating an impression that they have socially been accepted (Saylors, 2003). Various reasons have been put forth to explain the rampant substance abuse problems among the American Indian society and in particular the people of Nebraska.

There is a common perspective that psychoactive substances are linked to spiritual value (Noe, Fleming & Manson, 2003). American-Indian groups also value alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs because they alter the condition of consciousness, which is considered as an important experience (Nebelkopf & Phillips, 2003). Marijuana is considered among the first choice drugs used by the youth is Nebraska (Herz, 2000).

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