ERIC Number: ED335207
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Fighting Alcohol and Substance Abuse among American Indian and Alaskan Native Youth. ERIC Digest.
According to a national survey, about 80% of American Indian and Alaska Native youth have experimented with alcohol or drugs, compared to about 50% of youth nationwide. Particular risk factors for Native youth include low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress, and culture conflict arising from differences between traditional Native values and values of the dominant society. Increasingly, tribes and Native communities are taking steps to eliminate substance abuse and are becoming optimistic that success is possible. Native communities are recognizing that each community contains valuable resources in its own people, traditions, and spiritual values. Many tribal programs seek to improve the self-esteem of Native youth through participation in tribal culture and heritage. Physical challenge programs, tribally sponsored chapters of national youth organizations, and peer support groups provide a framework for accomplishment, self-actualization, and the development of healthy attitudes. Steps for developing a community program are: (1) getting community members together and asking them to define how alcohol and substance abuse specifically affect their youngsters; (2) encouraging community discussion of the problem; (3) identifying what is being done about the problem and where the gaps are; (4) working through a community committee to develop a plan, coordinate activities, and share responsibilities among community members; (5) identifying and use outside resources; and (6) keeping track of progress. (SV)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.