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Native American and Alaskan Native Languages

Native American And Alaskan Native Languages

People who speak Native American and Alaskan native languages tend to have high rates of substance abuse and addiction. As such, these problems need to be resolved for them to find freedom and start living a life of sobriety.

While the factors that trigger substance use and addiction tend to vary from one individual to another, most of the causes of the relatively high rates of drug and alcohol abuse among those who speak these languages tend to be cultural in nature. These factors - as well as language barriers - also tend to act as hindrances to helping these people seek treatment for their addiction. As such, it is of vital importance that they receive treatment.

About Drug Treatment For Native American And Alaskan Native Languages

The natives of Alaska as well as American Indians have historically had a high likelihood of abusing drugs and alcohol - more so than other ethnic and racial groups. As such, they might need recovery services more than these other groups.

Conversely, however, those who speak Native American and Alaskan native languages also tend to feel prone to the need to get treated for their addiction and substance use disorders.

Today, close to 50 percent of these people who show up for treatment do so as criminal justice addiction clients. This means that they have a higher likelihood of agreeing to court ordered rehabilitation in place of getting jailed or imprisoned. It also means that most of them would not voluntarily seek rehabilitation treatment.

As such, there is a need for a larger variety of drug treatment types to deal with the mostly unique requirements and needs of peoples who speak Native American and Alaskan native languages - including but not limited to rehabilitation programs provided in native languages.

However, most American Indians and Alaska natives face challenges in the sense that they might not have direct access to the effective treatment facilities and services they require. This is particularly true for those living in rural locations.

On the other hand, the programs that provide these rehabilitation services in the rural regions might not be ideal for meeting the specific demands and needs of this unique population. For instance, few of them provide treatment services in Native American and Alaskan native languages.

To find relief from their addiction, therefore, most Alaskans and American Indians usually have to consult with stakeholders in the mental health and drug treatment services sector as well as elders in their communities to figure out their options for rehabilitation.

Luckily, several grants have been approved in the recent present to help with drug treatment for people who speak Native American and Alaskan Native languages. Through these grants, people in this population can now pay for their rehabilitation.

Apart from the above, some recovery services also integrate cultural sensitivity - including some that are offered by bi-lingual staff members who can speak these languages and identify with their addiction treatment clients.

Barriers To Treatment For People Speaking Native American And Alaskan Native Languages

Like with any other demographic, communities that speak Native American and Alaskan Native languages often face different barriers and obstacles in their quest to overcome addiction. Some of the most specific of these barriers to treatment include:

  • School, work, and family obligations
  • Negative cultural view of substance abuse and addiction treatment
  • Limited access to treatment services focusing on Native American and Alaskan Native languages
  • Language barriers
  • Lack of health insurance
  • Financial difficulties
  • Denial that they have a problem with drugs/alcohol

Importance Of Drug Treatment For Native American And Alaskan Native Languages Works

As mentioned above, substance abuse and addiction are endemic problems in the Native American and Alaskan communities. Alcohol abuse, in particular, is especially prevalent and accounts for most of the substance abuse problems these communities face. These problems are as a result of a general lack of comprehensive social services and addiction treatment programs, lack of jobs, and poor economic conditions.

Fortunately, if you belong to these communities, you should be able to find an increasing number of organizations and agencies that provide specialized addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs 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 treatment programs specifically designed for Alaskans and Native Americans. The options that may available to you today include:

  • Residential treatment programs for addiction and substance use disorders, as well as co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Outpatient treatment programs for addiction
  • Increased access to treatment and rehabilitation services
  • Increased alcohol and drug abuse awareness education and prevention classes provided in schools
  • Customized and culturally sensitive addiction treatment languages and content

How Drug Tretment For Native Americans And Alaskans Works

People who speak Native American and Alaskan Native languages and who are addicted to drugs/alcohol can benefit from specialized drug treatment programs. Like any other addiction rehabilitation program, these options are comprised of several steps, including but not limited to:

a) Assessment, Testing, and Evaluation

Here, you will typically undergo thorough evaluation and testing by addiction specialists who might understand Native American and Alaskan Native languages or even come from these communities. Through this process, the experts will be able to better determine how severe your addiction is and come up with the most suitable treatment and rehabilitation plan.

b) Detoxification

After your assessment, you may be required to undergo detox to get rid of the last traces of the substances you were addicted to and are trying to quit using. Detox is usually designed to help recovering addicts withdraw in a safe and comfortable environment.

As a person who speaks Native American and Alaskan Native languages, undergoing detox means that you will receive round the clock monitoring and care to ease your withdrawal and help you in case of any medical emergencies.

c) Pharmacological and Psychological Therapies

Once your condition has stabilized, the program offering addiction treatment for Native American and Alaskan Native languages will adopt a multi-faceted approach to your recovery.

As such, treatment might typically comprise of family, group, and individual therapy and counseling. If you have underlying mental health conditions or you were addicted to opiates, the rehabilitation facility may also provide pharmacological treatment.

In most cases, you may find that you will benefit more from a combination of prescription medications (where required) and psychotherapy especially if you were addicted to drugs/alcohol for a long time.

d) Aftercare

However, just because you completed the rehabilitation program outlined for you does not necessarily mean that your journey to full recovery and sobriety is over. As such, recovering Native Americans and Alaskans may be provided with the support they need after checking out of the treatment facility. This might come in the form of stays at halfway/sober houses, community support, vocational training, self-help group therapy sessions, and weekly outpatient rehabilitation and therapy sessions.

Overall, as a person who speaks Native American and Alaskan native languages, you can now benefit from the increasing number of choices available for addiction treatment. Remember, the earlier you undergo treatment and overcome your substance abuse problem, the easier it will be for you to get back to a life of normalcy free of drugs and alcohol.

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