The problem that the essay focuses on is alcohol abuse in the Native American community. The problem is caused by the disadvantaged socioeconomic conditions of the population, including limited access to healthcare, and passed down from parents to children. The problem significantly hurts the health and economic opportunities of the community’s members while also increasing the crime rate, particularly that of domestic violence. The problem has existed since shortly after the beginning of European colonization of America and has changed in terms of Native Americans becoming more aware of it. In the past, Native Americans formed temperance groups that promoted limited alcohol consumption, but they failed to gain traction wihin the community due to weak messaging. Native Americans receive aid from the government for many purposes, including programs to curb alcoholism. However, the extent of these measures is inadequate, and they do not have equal access to opportunities relative to the rest of the population. The problem could be solved through the introduction of opportunities for Native American communities that enable them to adopt a future-oriented outlook. The proposed solution would be costly, and the money would come out of other taxpayers’ pockets. However, a robust set of solutions is necessary for the community to address its problems in a timely manner and become self-sufficient, and the short-term cost increase will be compensated by the long-term savings.
Hook: For a long time, the Native American community has been facing an alcoholism problem that pervades all aspects of it. It can be traced back to the original European settlement on the continent, as they brought alcohol along with them and introduced it to the local community.
Thesis statement: Alcohol abuse has intertwined with the other social issues of the community, creating a self-perpetuating system that has lasted to this day. To overcome it, Native Americans have to be fully included in social and economic life, with discrimination minimized and economic opportunities provided to them.
Native American communities have been observed to manifest a large number of socioeconomic problems, such as crime, job loss, and poor health, all of which are related to alcohol.
Alcohol consumption is two to three times above the average in Native American adolescents and substantially higher in adults, as well.
Native Americans commit between eight and twenty times as many alcohol-related crimes as members of other ethnic groups.
As a result, the practice further perpetuates the damage to the community and effectively reinforces itself.
The drinking problem was introduced into the Native American community by European settlers, as it has not existed before in any well-known capacity.
Tribes would only use mind-altering substances in various rituals that were only performed when there was a need to do so.
While modern Native Americans are presumably aware of the dangers of alcohol, they resort to it as a result of their socioeconomic issues as a means of temporary escape.
Native Americans inherit alcoholism habits from their parents and the surrounding community, engaging in it due to mental health issues.
Native Americans struggle with mental health problems, which are typically undiagnosed and exacerbated by their consumption of mind-altering substances.
It is challenging to eradicate the problem because its causes are deeply rooted in Native American communities.
Alcohol abuse has two primary effects on the Native American community: an increase in crime and adverse health outcomes.
Domestic violence, coming from both men and women, is a particularly prevalent problem for Native Americans.
The harmful effects of alcohol on one’s health are well-documented, and chronic consumption can cause significant and permanent damage.
Overall, alcoholism appears to have potentially extreme effects on the well-being of the community, which need to be addressed.
To overcome the problem, it would be highly beneficial to overcome the perception of persecution and adopt a future-oriented outlook.
Native American adolescents’ perception of historical loss increases their perceived discrimination and clinically significant alcohol abuse symptoms.
Native Americans have substandard access to opportunities, which drives them to alcoholism as an escape.
Without aid, the community may require an extremely long time to recover or ultimately stagnate in its current condition, both of which are not desirable outcomes.
Strategies to Effectively Implement the Solution
A solution would have to focus on the community and focus on improving it from the inside, with increases in socioeconomic status driving members to pursue more beneficial practices than drinking.
An expansion of the healthcare system so that it can serve the community’s diverse and significant needs is required.
Economic opportunities in it need to improve, presumably through policy decisions that make it easier for them to find employment or engage in entrepreneurship.
While costly, this approach is necessary to successfully eradicate the problem’s underlying causes.
Alcoholism is a deeply entrenched issue in the Native American community that is strongly related to its other significant problems. As such, a comprehensive and multifaceted approach is necessary to address it successfully.
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Lappas, T. J. (2020). In league against King Alcohol: Native American women and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, 1874–1933. University of Oklahoma Press.
Nielsen, M. O. (2019). Native Americans, crime, and justice. Taylor & Francis.