The Effects of Alcohol on Native Youth
When I was little I would hear my family talk about alcohol and the way it made our family members suffer. I would constantly hear how bad it was from the people who would tell you to be drug free because of the conditions you would suffer if you used it. The things that they wouldn’t tell you was how much it began to hurt the people around the alcoholic in different ways.
As I grew up, I began to realize that I wish everyone would listen to the side effects that alcohol causes, such as the emotional problems, health problems like FASD, and financial issues.
The Emotional Toll on Native Youth
Native youth suffer from alcoholism because the alcoholics in their lives aren’t being a good role model for them. In one article it states that alcoholics tend to drink to try to ignore their problems. Children learn from their parents about how to deal with problems in their life. Children will learn that maybe if their parents are ignoring the problem and drinking and thus expecting it to go away, they should do the same.
In another article it says that children of alcoholic parents tend to deal with emotional and mental issues. I have a relative whose father drinks a lot, and now my relative deals with anger issues. The issues he deals with are caused by the overwhelming feeling that he doesn’t know how to deal with anything. He deals with his feelings of overwhelm by getting into fights.
Native youth may not have the role models to show them how to deal with life problems but that doesn’t mean that they will always struggle with, it just means they need help.
Toxic Homes Lead to Toxic School Experiences
Native youth are prevented from succeeding in school because of the toxic environment alcohol produces. When Native youth who live with a cycle of alcoholism turn to it themselves (or any other substance), they will suffer in school. Their grades will suffer, or mostly likely, they will drop out. A person who has a cycle of alcoholism or turns to drugs will basically suffer in school because of the drugs they’re using.
The cycle of alcoholism not only causes them to drop out or do poorly in school, it causes many more problems that hold them back from being successful. When a student begins to act violent towards their peers or adults in a school setting, they are given suspension or expulsion. Native youth are more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white classmates.
Being suspended or expelled causes Native youth to fall behind, another consequence of a toxic environment caused by alcohol. A toxic environment produced by alcohol could prevent Native youth from being successful in school because they are doing poorly in school, falling behind, or acting violently, which results in disciplinary measures that can cause them to fall even further behind.
The Financial Toll of Alcohol
Alcoholism affects Native youth as children not only emotionally and mentally, but financially, as well. Parents who abuse alcohol may blame their problem (and all of the financial problems that go along with alcoholism) on their children. Actions speak louder than our words.
For example, if we spend our money on alcohol instead of medicine, we show our children that we don’t care for them. When children are being shown that no one cares for them, it hurts them, it hurts a lot and causes them to doubt if their parents care for them.
But this isn’t the only way Native youth suffer. The other way Native youth have been shown to suffer is them having FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) which happens in 1.5 to 2.5 per 1,000 births among Natives, according to an article done by the Indian Health Services (IHS).
FASD can cause a number of disorders such as behavior, memory, and learning problems. Native youth don’t have control over these things because their parents decided to drink. The problems that may have affected them can cause them to suffer financially because they are looking for someone to help and they are angry at their parent for causing this. Alcoholism affects children by them being hurt emotionally, mentally, and because of their alcoholic parent or parents.Before you drink, think about how your choice might harm future generations. #nativeyouth #nativeamerican Click To Tweet
Alcohol affects Native youth negatively in many different ways. Alcoholics in the lives of Native youth have made them suffer with no role model to show them how to deal with life’s struggles. The toxic environment caused by alcohol makes students suffer in school. The alcohol that you drink will affect your children mentally, emotionally, and financially. Alcohol affects Native youth and makes them suffer.
You bring awareness to some important issues. With a positive attitude and desire for change like yours, it seems like you will be a bright star for positive change.
I appreciate your kind words you said in the comments.