Compared to other racial groups, Native Americans in South Carolina experience some of the highest rates of substance abuse, mental health disorders, violence, and suicide. The cultural and spiritual beliefs of American Indians and Alaska Natives, as well as the historical trauma suffered by people who identify with these ethnic groups, require special considerations to be taken in the treatment of addiction and other mental health conditions. Understanding the needs of this demographic is critical to finding effective rehab services and achieving lasting recovery.
Compared to all races AI/ANs had the highest past year prevalence of any AUD (12.1% vs. 8.5%), any DUD (4.9% vs. 2.0%) and comorbid (AUD and DUD) disorders (3.5% vs. 1.1%) in the NESARC data.
Comorbidity has ramifications for diagnosis and treatment because people with comorbid disorders may respond less effectively to addiction treatment than those with only one disorder. Effective diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring addictive and psychiatric disorders requires varied treatment methods and staff trained in the treatment of both types of disorders.
Addiction treatment for people who speak American Indian or Alaskan Native languages includes ongoing rehabilitation services that are specially designed to ensure that the clients recover from their substance use disorders and any other co-occurring conditions, such as suicidal ideation and mental health problems.
Rehab centers often provide this special type of addiction treatment to both voluntary patients as well as those who have been compelled to enroll for rehabilitation services by the criminal justice system.
In many cases, treatment requires the use of different forms of ongoing rehabilitation to ensure that the center covers all the different requirements and needs of their Alaska Native and American Indian clients - including the provision of these services in these native languages.
Like with any other demographic, people that speak Native American and Alaskan Native languages often struggle with different barriers and obstacles in their journey to overcome addiction. Some of the most evident barriers to treatment include:
As mentioned above, drug and alcohol abuse and drug addiction are endemic problems in the Native American and Alaskan communities. Alcohol abuse, specifically, is especially prevalent and accounts for most of the drug and alcohol abuse problems these communities face. These problems are as a result of an overall lack of comprehensive social programs and drug addiction treatment programs, lack of employment, and poor economic conditions.
Fortunately, if you are a member of one of these communities, you should be able to find an increasing number of organizations and agencies that provide specialized addiction treatment facilities for people like you who speak Native American and Alaskan Native languages.
Additionally, tribal governments and authorities have also been coming up with more comprehensive and integrative drug and alcohol treatment facilities uniquely designed for Alaskans and Native Americans. The options that may available to you now include:
If you need help, rest assured there are multiple facilities with their doors open for you. Simply reach out to one of the many centers in South Carolina and get professional attention.