Native American Indian Cultural Risk Factors - Contact to Termination


  • Robert A. Ryan


There is current research on risk factors in the general population.  This research was conducted by Hawkins and Catalano at the University of Washington.  Those risk factors are relevant for most groups of people.  We must also consider those factors that confound those risk factors for Native American Indian young people. This is a description of the psycho-social-historical events that affect the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by American Indian people today.  Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) use varies from 0% to 98% depending on the tribe, group, region and distance from rest of American society. These numbers are reported in the Indian Health Service research that has been conducted with Indian tribes.  These factors are basis for the Native American Indian cultural understanding in chemical dependency and mental health treatment.  This is an attempt to conceptualize the impact of the historical events experienced by Native American Indian people has had an effect on the substance dependence and abuse over the years.  The impact of historical events on the social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual life areas of Indian people is paramount to the positive change and recovery for Native people in the United States of America. This is an abridged story of the cultural risk factors for Native American Indian use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and mental health problems of today.