Voices of Native Youth

Three Reasons Why Alcohol Should be Illegal

My family has a history of struggling with alcohol. They have many bad things going on for them because of their struggles with alcohol. Why should alcohol be illegal? Alcohol is bad for your health. It can cause liver disease, depression and other things can come from that. Alcohol is bad for your life, because you can die or get addicted. Alcohol can also cause permanent changes to the brain.

Alcohol Should be Illegal Because it’s Bad for Your Health

Adults make laws, but this young woman has a valid question about why alcohol is legal. She give three reasons why it should be illegal. #alcohol #alcoholic #drinking

Alcohol is bad for your health. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 88,000 Americans die annually from alcohol-related causes. Forty-nine per 1 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives die each year from alcohol-related causes, making my people the most at-risk for alcohol poisoning.

Some of my family members drink alcohol and they have bad health. For example, one relative has problems with drinking and now has liver disease. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to three main types of liver conditions; fatty liver, hepatitis, and scarring of the liver. Because my relative drinks so much, my relative makes frequent trips to the hospital for medicines and for sicknesses. Therefore, this family member doesn’t spend a lot of time with family and misses out on important life events due to bad health. In other words, drinking alcohol is bad for your health and can mess up a lot of things for you.

Alcohol Makes You Do Dumb Things

Alcohol has negative effects on your brain. When you drink large amounts of alcohol on a daily basis, it will eventually do negative things to your brain. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety.”

When you have alcohol in your system you do things you wouldn’t do when you’re sober. You can experience difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory, and bad decision-making. Alcohol can produce impairments in memory. Alcohol can do multiple things to you, but it will affect your brain the worst.

If you stay away from alcohol then you won’t have any negative effects from it that will harm your brain. Therefore stay away from alcohol or your brain will get damaged.

Alcohol and Unemployment

Alcohol is bad for your life overall. Over time, excessive alcohol use can cause unemployment, according to a 1995 study of research by John Mullahy and Jody L. Sindelar. If you don’t have a job you can’t pay anything for your living, transportation, or food. It’s hard without a job, because you can’t pay for what you need to live, especially if you have a family. 

Alcohol can also cause death. If you have a family or loved ones, they will miss you if you die. Your death from alcohol can be hard on them and they just might take the path you were on. As a result, alcohol should be illegal for these reasons I’ve talked about.

Alcohol is bad for your health, it causes liver disease and depression. It is bad for your life, causing addiction and death. It’s bad for you and your family. Alcohol can also permanently damage and change how your brain works.

Have you ever wondered why alcohol is legal, even if it's really bad for you? #alcohol #drinking Click To Tweet

Before you pick up a bottle you should always consider these reasons. You should also consider the consequences that come from drinking alcohol. 

Davarena (a.k.a Dave) is a Navajo currently finishing her last year of high school and preparing for her college education. Dave is an eccentric foodie with dyspraxia who loves her puppy, Oliver.

Native Youth May Have to Pay for What They Don’t Do

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 pay the price for the mistakes and choices that the adults in their lives make. A Navajo student speaks out on the price that she may pay. #nativeamerican #nativeyouth #alcohol #choices #FASD #drinking #dropout #nativeamerican

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

In Conclusion

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.

Kerralyn is a Navajo girl who loves science and math. Her hobbies include reading, watching her favorite TV shows, and spending time with the people close to her. She wants to travel one day. Her pet peeve is being rudely awakened in the morning.

Did You Know Alcohol is Bad for Native Americans?

Have you ever lost a family member to alcohol, whether from death or ruined relationships?

Let me tell you what it’s like when people you love drink. I have relatives who “enjoy” drinking. I always say to myself, “maybe if I do something they will stop.” But most of the time, they both start to get mad at each other for something and then a fight happens. Alcohol is bad for Native Americans because it’s very risky, it causes serious health problems, and can really affect your future. 

Risky Business

The risks Natives take is more definite than a non-native. According to the National Congress of American Indians, 510% more Native American people die from alcohol-related causes more than any other ethnic group in the United States.

A high school student looks at the reasons why Native Americans should stay away from alcohol. It's great advice whether you're Native or not! #alcoholism #drinking #bingedrinking #nativeyouth #nativeamerican

These facts and statistics are born out in my family. About one-fourth of my family have died from an alcohol-related cause. The two leading causes of alcohol related deaths among Native Americans were traffic accidents and alcoholic liver disease.

If you are Native and you consider yourself an “alcoholic” there is one in two chance that you could die from an alcohol-related cause. Overall, Native Americans have a higher chance of dying from alcohol.

Alcohol is bad for Native Americans (and everyone else) because it causes serious health problems. Drinking alcohol causes your stomach to produce more acid than usual. According to webmd.com, acid reflux symptoms include bloating, bloody vomiting, burping, and dysphasia (a narrowing in the esophagus, which creates the sensation of food being stuck in your throat).

The worst disease you could get while drinking alcohol would be liver disease. There are 20,000 US cases of liver cirrhosis per year. According to a study by Elliot B. Tapper, through 2008, cirrhosis death rates among Native Americans were steady year to year. Starting 2009, the rate increased by four percent annually. Ten point six per 100,000 Non-Hispanic white people die from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis deaths as compared to 24.2 per 100,000 Native Americans.

That’s one-fourth the population of Native Americans. In other words drinking could lead to health problems which could lead to death if not treated. 

Alcohol: The Dream Snatcher

Alcohol has negative affects on Native Americans because it can derail their dreams. My math teacher, a Navajo, tells about his experience with alcohol. “As soon as I started drinking my life fell apart.” After making many mistakes and detours, he was able to remember that at one point, he had a plan. “I had goals, so I was able to get out of that slump I was in.”

Alcohol also prevents people from getting somewhere in life. Physical problems, losing your job, relational problems, or an argument with a family member could cause you to drink. An article in Partnership with Native Americans talks the consequences of alcohol use: domestic violence, health disparities, rape/sexual assault, dropout, and suicide.

Alcohol is snatching the dreams of Native Americans. It's time to fight back. #nativeyouth Click To Tweet

Drinking destroys relationships and friendships with good people, but it also creates toxic friendship and relationships. Choosing the wrong crowd can affect how you concentrate and it can get in the way of your personal goals. Overall, drinking alcohol causes relationships, friendships and your life to fall apart.

Alcoholic beverages are bad for Native Americans. Native Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with alcohol-related disease or could die from alcohol. Most deaths and health problems Natives get are caused by alcohol. Friendships, relationships, and your life could fall apart from drinking a sip of alcohol. Therefore, because I am Native American, I know what alcohol is capable of doing to my life.

Laqueta is half Navajo and half Pueblo. She loves to listen to music. When she’s not listening to her favorite artists, she hangs out with friends or plays sports. She spends most of her time trapped in a classroom.
%d bloggers like this: