While American Indians make up only a small part of the U.S. population, this racial group experiences addiction rates at a much higher percentage than other ethnicities.
People who identify as American Indians are more likely to report substance abuse in the past year than any other ethnicity in the country.
Young American Indians are at the highest risk of a substance use disorder, with an estimated 20 percent reporting having an alcohol addiction. Additionally, nearly 24 percent of American Indians ages 12 to 20 admit to binge drinking.
Although each tribal nation is likely to offer health and human services, many lack the comprehensive and evidence-based care and attention needed to address substance use disorder.
American Indians And Addiction In Oklahoma
Oklahoma is home to 38 federally recognized tribal nations, which is one of the largest tribal populations in the country. From the Osage Nation to the Choctaw, Potawatomi, Comanche, Kickapoo, and others, tribal citizens make up a significant portion of Oklahoma’s population.
American Indians in Oklahoma are uniquely susceptible to violence, mental health disorders, and other negative environmental factors.
These factors, coupled with past historical trauma, contribute to the risk of substance abuse and mental health problems: more than 15,000 American Indians in Oklahoma received state-funded mental health services in 2019, but less than 3,000 received services for substance abuse.
Treatment Considerations For American Indians
There are several things to consider when it comes to alcohol and drug rehab programs that are sensitive to the unique needs of American Indians.
Many American Indians do not have access to treatment programs due to the location of their communities. Additionally, many members of this racial group lack medical insurance or the means to pay for rehab programs, making it difficult for them to get the help they need.
Each American Indian tribe has different beliefs and cultural norms that must be taken into consideration. Different spiritualities, patterns of substance abuse, and levels of trust in institutional medicine can all affect the success you have in a treatment program.
With an individualized treatment program, all your needs are taken into account. This includes:
- your history of substance use
- your history of addiction treatment
- if you have any co-occurring mental health conditions
- if your cultural background should play a role in your treatment
Treatment programs for American Indians must take all of these factors into account to provide a comprehensive and effective plan of recovery for this population.
Combining Evidence-Based Treatment With Native Teachings
Many treatment facilities that offer specialized programs for American Indians combine more traditional treatment methods with native teachings.
The 12 Wisdom Steps Program, for example, blends the traditional teachings of 12-step groups with the medicine wheel, the Cycle of Life, and the Four Laws of Change.
Depending on the person in treatment, a culturally relevant treatment program to American Indians could make patients feel more comfortable in treatment and successfully complete a rehab program.
Benefits Of Alcohol And Drug Rehab Programs For American Indians
Attending an addiction treatment program specifically for American Indians can provide a number of benefits. Culturally sensitive programs provide a comfortable and safe environment for members of this community to heal from a substance use disorder.
Additional benefits that an American Indian-specific rehab program can provide include:
- increased cultural sensitivity
- treatment options that acknowledge American Indian culture and spiritual beliefs
- the chance to form bonds with others experiencing addiction
- tribal healing approaches
The more tailored a treatment program is to the needs of American Indians, the more likely you’ll feel at ease and be comfortable in the program. This can increase success rates and encourage long-term sobriety among tribal communities.
Types Of Specialized Treatment For American Indian Communities
Addiction treatment staff are sensitive to the unique needs of every patient who commits to a rehab program, including American Indians. Addiction researchers have developed a number of strategies to meet the needs of American Indians in recovery.
Types of specialized treatment that may be provided during a rehab program for American Indians include:
- art circles, meditation, and sun dances
- tribal healing techniques
- traditional medicine wheel practices
- introduction to 12-step programs
- treatment for co-occurring disorders
- behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing
- medication management
- individual and group counseling
No single addiction treatment method will work for everyone. Many treatment facilities offer a variety of treatment options and customize each person’s plan of recovery to suit their specific needs.
Contact Us Today
If you’re an American Indian struggling with a substance use disorder in Texas or Oklahoma, seeking treatment is the best decision you can make. We offer a wide range of programs and services to meet your individual recovery needs.
To learn more about our facility or what we can do for you, please contact us today.