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American Indians & Substance Use Disorders

Indigenous Woman TRSA therapy

American Indians are twice as likely (compared to other Americans) to die from alcohol use

Heavy alcohol use is associated with:

  • alcohol use disorder

  • other psychiatric disorders

  • violence (Enoch, Albaugh, 2017).

Methamphetamine use is also a common concern for AI/AN folks. (Brave Heart, et al., 2001). 

American Indians continue to be at high risk for suicide or experiencing suicidal thoughts. 

As many as 70% of Native Americans reside in urban areas. 

1 in 3 Native Americans lives in poverty.

Condes (2021) notes, “American Indian women frequently suffer long-term effects from this violence, exhibiting high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder as well as depression, attempted or completed suicide, and disordered eating” (p.523).

Traumas experienced in boarding school have resulted in increased rates of drug use, alcohol use disorders, and increase suicidal thoughts/attempts. (Enoch, Albaugh 2017; Manson, et al., 1989; Evans-Campbell, et al., 2012).

We are currently in the formation and pilot phase of our project. We are creating a hybrid substance abuse group.  Group therapy sessions will occur virtually for a small group.

Our goal is to help Indigenous relatives connect to therapy. 

Addiction Treatment Saves Lives.

Reasons we do substance abuse treatment:

  • improve and increase access to culturally informed addiction therapy

  • improve and increase access to holistic therapy supports (yoga, etc.)

  • delivery of Indigenous healing methods (Talking circles, indigenous arts, etc.)

  • promote the role of peer supports in treatment

  • promote the role of virtual/telehealth therapy to rural and urban community members

  • support creative and innovative ways to deliver therapy to underserved communities

  • reduce the cycle of transmission of intergenerational trauma

  • improve access to culturally informed and aware mental health providers (that may be lacking in rural areas or even in urban areas as many mental health providers may lack the competency to treat the AI/AN population.

  • Improve access to cutting edge and scientifically validated treatments (EMDR therapy)

  • Facebook

How You Can Help

We are working to build a sustainable funding source to support our ability to respond to changes in mental health access, service availability and goals. To make a pledge, create a memorial tribute or donate, please email or call 602-661-0200.



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