Tribal Substance Abuse in Norman, OK

It is easy to think of substance abuse and come up with one face as the representative. All too often, this can cloud and stigmatize the reality of substance abuse to the general public. When one thinks of the opioid epidemic, the picture painted is typically one of the working-class White individual in the Midwest. Sadly, the substance abuse has had a massive impact on the Native American community in tribal land of Oklahoma. The smaller the tribe, the worse the opioid abuse typically is. Not to mention, if a percentage of 20% percent are abusing opioids in the tribal community, it is not the same as 20% of the general American public.  

Substance abuse can have population ending consequences for the Native community. Opioids are not the only substance the tribal community has to battle. Alcohol abuse plagues the tribal community, as well as methamphetamines. In fact, Native Americans face the highest rate of substance abuse out of any ethnic group in the United States. Tribal lands are often targeted by drug cartels, due to the lack of funding law enforcement has on reservations. Please know that if you or a loved one are dealing with any type of substance abuse, there are specialized treatment options for you. Visit one of our treatment pages to learn more.

The History of Substance Abuse on Tribal Land in Norman, OK

Over the period of 2003 to 2014 the Cherokee nation saw deaths from opioid related overdoses double. Not to mention, since the year 2000, the death rate among Native Americans from both prescription and illicit opioids has increased at a rate that surpasses any other ethnic group.

Unfortunately, the first evidence showing the prevalence of opioids in the Native community came from the data on children who were removed from their homes. Since 2014 many of the children removed from their homes in the Native American community, were removed as a result of their parents abusing opioids. Nearly all of the times that these children are removed from their homes, they are placed in Non-Native homes. The removal means that opioid abuse has both health and cultural consequences for the Native American community.

Those are just the consequences of opioid abuse. Meth in Native communities contributes to an increase in violent crimes including domestic violence. In 2006, Tribal police claimed that meth was the number one drug problem plaguing the tribal community. The ASAP (Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program) intends to help stop and slow addiction in Native American communities. Many programs work within the tribes to help maintain the culture.

The Consequences of Substance Abuse on Tribal Land

A recent study found that the number of overdose deaths in the Native American community has been under-reported. Numbers of both alcohol and substance abuse along with mental health disorders, and suicides are disproportionately affecting Native American communities. While the opioid crisis is raging across the United States, the tribal face is missing from the narrative. Officials are removing children from their homes, and the former attorney general of the Cherokee Nation says nearly a generation of Native American children have been lost. The loss is mainly due to opioids. Native communities and their neighbors, are demanding reparations for the loss of culture and loved ones.

Although prescription drug and opioid abuse are catching up to the rate of meth abuse in tribal communities. Abusing meth is one of the major drug problems plaguing tribal communities. Methamphetamine use can result in a higher crime rate. Meth related crimes are typically violent. Not to mention, there is a particular correspondence between meth usage and the suicide rate, particularly among the youth. More so, Native American communities with a higher rate of meth usage are more likely to see gang activity, along with sex trafficking. Many tribal communities have higher rates of mental health disorders, which can ultimately lead to drug abuse. When the individual does not receive care for mental illness, the will be likely to self-medicate and make their illness worse.

Efforts to Combat Addiction

Native American culture heavily emphasizes community. As a result, many community efforts are occurring to help combat addiction in tribal communities. Some tribes may choose to ex-communicate individuals who have a hand in drug trafficking on tribal lands. More so, several groups exist within the Native communities to help combat drug abuse among the youth. Websites such as the We R Native multimedia resource also exist to help address the specific issues the tribal community deals with that can lead to substance abuse. Not to mention, the federal government has also stepped in with grants. In 2016, the IHS, or Indian Health Service doubled the amount of grants it gave for both meth and suicide prevention under Obama’s Generation Indigenous Initiative.

One of the most effective options for addiction treatment within tribal lands is community led support. A strong sense of community can often curb substance addiction. However, there are additional treatment options as well. With the smaller tribes being hit the hardest, it can be an obstacle to know where to turn next. There are a variety of treatment options for those dealing with opioid addiction. Individuals dealing with an opioid addiction will want to look for a SAMHSA certified treatment center. These centers are the best at dealing with opioid addictions. Additionally, medication-assisted treatment has been proven to be quite effective when treating opioid addiction, so you will want to look for a treatment center that offers this kind of treatment.

You Can Find Help

There are a variety of unique issues that the Native American community of Norman, OK face. For years methamphetamine was the number one issue, but now, prescription drug and opioid abuse are on the rise within the Native community. Unfortunately, the rise of opioid overdoses on tribal land does not mean the same for the tribal community as it does for the rest of the United States. Opioid abuse on tribal land is leading to a diminishing amount of Native American people and culture. Substance abuse is ripping families apart, but there is hope for change.

There may be barriers to treatment in Oklahoma, but our experts can help you or a loved one receive it. Call 405-583-4319 and learn about how you can get treatment for yourself or a loved one. Our experts understand that there are specific needs when it comes to treatment for tribal communities. We are able to assist and provide support, no matter how you may need it. Addiction is a disease that can have effects on an entire community. You can also beat addiction. Please visit one of our treatment pages if you would like to learn more about your options. Do not hesitate to call us.