Native American Culture

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When presented with a client of a different culture, it has proven essential to tailor evidence based practices to fit their cultural norms. The client presented is a Native American/American Indian person with alcoholism. Whereas a 12 step program is effective for many alcoholics. Native Americans report doing better achieving sobriety when their spirituality is included. It must be noted that the usage of “Native American” and “American Indian” are used interchangeably in most literature on this culture.
A fairly common approach to alcoholism is a 12 step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It has been asserted that there is enough evidence on the validity of the 12 step model that it can be considered an evidence based practice.
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They hypothesize that spirituality forms a common bond, along with the alcohol addiction, among the group attendees and as a result, results in increased attendance of meetings. Increased attendance of meetings typically results in increased sobriety. (Tonigan., Rynes,, & McCrady, 2013).
Beauvais explores the causes and possible solutions for the rampant alcoholism that affects the Native American population. He utilizes the theory that historical trauma and victimization forced upon the Native Americans at the hands of the Europeans is part of the cause of the high rates of alcoholism in this population today. Beauvais explores how the stereotype of the alcoholic Native American perpetuates harmful stereotypes, as well as focuses on Native Americans on reservations, which is only 1/3 of the Native American population. He also raises the view of Native American as a whole culture, when in reality there are over 300 distinct Native American tribes within the U.S., each with its own unique customs, values, and struggles. Beauvais gives a historical perspective on early Europeans with Native Americans that included the introduction of strong alcohol and encouragement of alcohol usage as a means of exploitation and control. He hypothesizes
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Al. (2014) propose and evaluate a therapy for Native Americans suffering from alcoholism that combines a common 12 step model with Native American traditional drumming and a Medicine Wheel. A common theory for why alcohol and drug use is so common with NA includes historical trauma that resulted in the victimization and loss of cultural identity due to the forceful relocation of many tribes. This theory calls for resilience based and positive therapy coupled with traditional based healing practices of the culture. Drum-Assisted Recovery Therapy for Native Americans (DARTNA) was created to address these needs specific to Native Americans. Drumming used in sacred traditions and is seen as a source of healing for many Native Americans. As drumming is considered sacred, participants were breathalyzed before drumming, which encouraged sobriety. The therapy incorporated the use of usage of respected community leaders/elders Baselines were measure using “Addiction Severity Index, Native American Version” so as to tailor to the population and to be culturally sensitive. Also created the “American Indian/Alaska Native Cultural Identity Scale”. The consensus of tribe members was that it was culturally appropriate and that the incorporation of culture helped the members stay sober. Participants reported better mood and stronger spiritual connection, as well as positive effects on sobriety levels and duration. However, some women expressed due to cultural values,
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