ERIC Number: ED348590
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Cultural Disintegration Perpetuated through Substance Abuse among American Indians.
French, Laurence Armand
Alcohol, perhaps more than any other factor, symbolizes the degree of cultural disintegration experienced by American Indians today. It has been recognized as a symptom of the numerous cultural adjustments forced upon American Indians since white contact. Indeed, alcohol among Indian groups was prohibited for a far longer period than the nationwide "Prohibition" experience. The General Indian Intercourse Act prohibited alcohol sale and use among American Indian groups from 1834 to 1953. Alcohol abuse is associated with the leading causes of death among American Indians: accidents, suicides, and homicides. It also aggravates diabetes, hypertension, and cirrhosis. Alcohol is recognized as a symptom of the numerous cultural adjustments forced upon American Indians since white contact. The "culture of poverty"/"cultural-image marginality"/"alcohol escapism" symbiosis accounts for the high Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) rate among American Indians and the perpetuation of this phenomenon. An investigation has shown that the more confused the cultural identity of the Indian group the greater the probability of FAS/PTSD. Indeed, Indian Health Service data indicates that the Plains Indians have the highest FAS rate of any ethnic group in the world. (The example of the Santee Sioux is recounted as it relates to the PTSD/addictive birth/PTSD cycle of abuse.) (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (100th, Washington, DC, August 14-18, 1992).