Native American Consumers in Counseling and Rehabilitation Research Paper

Pages: 3 (902 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Native Americans

Native Americans

Health and Alcohol Counseling for Native Americans

Native American populations are among the more notoriously disadvantaged demographics in the United States today. Following generations of genocide, Native Americans have largely persisted in the sad state of affairs created by relegation to reservation life. Here, Native Americans often live in isolation from broader society and the socioeconomic, educational and professional opportunities present there within. A byproduct of these conditions is the intersection of negative health indicators, negative mental health indicators and high risk susceptibility to drug and alcohol abuse. As the discussion hereafter reveals, the intersection of conditions such as diabetes, alcoholism, drug dependency and depression demands outreach through both counseling and rehabilitation channels.

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Before exploring these channels, it is appropriate to acknowledge some of the heightened risk factors facing native populations. Particularly, many of these heightened risks are actually genetic as well as conditional. This is true of diabetes, for instance. As reported by the American Diabetes Association (ADA)(2008), "according to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the 'thrifty gene' theory proposes that African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans and Native Americans inherited a gene from their ancestors which enabled them to use food more efficiently during 'feast and famine' cycles. Today there are fewer such cycles; this causes certain populations to be more susceptible to obesity and to developing type 2 diabetes." (ADA, 1)

Research Paper on Native American Consumers in Counseling and Rehabilitation Assignment

Available research also seems to imply that there is some connection between the genetic variations creating this vulnerability to diabetes and the vulnerabilities implicated where alcoholism is concerned. Native Americans tend to experience higher rates of alcoholism per population sample than other demographic subsets. This has been attributed to variances in the blood composition of Native Americans that, an article by Lee et al. (2008) tells, may also be a partial culprit higher than average occurrence of diabetes in Native Americans. According to Lee et al., "significant variables associated with the development of diabetes included triglycerides, obesity, fasting plasma glucose, insulin, and degree of American Indian blood among participants with NGT at baseline. For those with IGT at baseline, significant predictors included fasting plasma glucose, 2-h glucose, BMI, degree of American Indian blood, and albuminuria." (Lee et al., 49)

In many ways, there is a direct connection between these two problems of diabetes and addiction, not just because they may be inclined by a common genetic disposition. More importantly, these risk factors are invoked by the need for outreach, counseling and rehabilitation in reservation communities. At present, there is a great need for the promotion of lifestyle change amongst Native Americans and this may only be predicated by improved attention to the counseling and support needs that have gone largely unmet to date.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Native American Consumers in Counseling and Rehabilitation."  Essaytown.com.  July 31, 2012.  Accessed April 13, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/native-american-consumers-counseling/9698392.