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No, Native Americans aren't genetically more susceptible to alcoholism | The Verge

3.10.15

No, Native Americans aren't genetically more susceptible to alcoholism | The Verge: Addiction is often described as an equal opportunity disease. It isn’t: while anyone can become addicted under certain conditions, like most bullies, addiction prefers to hit people who are already hurting. The more trauma and social exclusion a child experiences, the greater the addiction risk. This creates a vicious cycle: addiction itself becomes a reason for even more rejection, prejudice, and maltreatment.

Perhaps nowhere is this clearer than in the shameful collection of stereotypes and stigmas surrounding alcoholism among American Indians. "Firewater" myths come from the racist ideology that fueled colonialism; they can be seen, for example, in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a chief who led a native movement for abstinence. Jefferson argues that whites have only "sold what individuals wish to buy" and that "spirituous liquors are not in themselves bad … But as you find that your people cannot refrain from an ill use of them, I greatly applaud your resolution not to use them at all."


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Dispatch: Aboriginal Press Media Group  |   Permalink  |   [3.10.15]  |   0 comments

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