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A portion of North Dakota's population lists their ethnic origin as American Indian. In a recent survey of 2,171 North Dakota residents, approximately 117.6 of those who had entered into drug rehabilitation were listed in the category for American Indian/Alaskan Native.

It is possible that some of these Native Americans sought drug rehabilitation for methamphetamine (meth) addiction, as 151 of 2,171 North Dakota residents who participated in a drug abuse survey listed their ethnic origin as Native American. This speculation can be further supported by the fact that it is known that meth use is on the rise among the Native American population not only in North Dakota but in other states as well.

In an effort to combat this growing problem, the White House Office of Drug Control Policy has created an advertising campaign aimed specifically at Native American youth. This campaign calls attention to the growing meth problem, and urges young Native Americans to refrain from using meth, and to encourage those whom they know to already be using meth, including parents, guardians, or other adults as well as other youth, to seek help for meth use.

Some of the advertisements will be constructed so that they can be displayed on billboards or other types of public outdoor advertising. Others will be designed so that they can be used by the media as public service announcements. Still others will be released in such a way that they can be downloaded and used in individual and community organizations such as schools, churches, shops, and other places.

Although meth is a growing problem among Native Americans, drug abuse in other areas still exists. The survey from which the information in this article was taken also shows that Native Americans, as well as those of other races or ethnic origins, sought treatment for alcohol use, both alone and with other illicit drugs, cocaine-smoked and taken in other ways, marijuana, and heroin use.

That help was and is provided at one of North Dakota's drug rehabilitation center. Native Americans as well as people of other races and ethnic origins who have problems with any type of substance abuse can enter one of these facilities.
Many people, including Native Americans, are proud of their heritage, and may even still adhere to or even practice some of their cultural beliefs. They may feel that if they do seek drug rehabilitation they may have to temporarily set aside these practices, or may not be allowed to practice them at all. Some may even worry about their beliefs being disrespected by counselors, staff members, and even other patients.

Drug rehabilitation programs address drug abuse. They do not place blame, nor they do not say that in order for one to successfully complete a program that he must give up a part of his individuality. Those who implement these programs feel the same way.

If a North Dakota resident of any race or ethnic origin enters drug rehabilitation and expresses a desire to espouse or continue practicing his cultural beliefs, accommodations will be made for him to do so, if at all possible.
If a person desires, and it is possible, dietary restrictions or adjustments that are part of cultural practices will also be made. Further, to some extent, patients will most likely be allowed to bring personal items from home, such as coverings, pictures, and other items that may bring them emotional comfort.

Respect and dignity will be shown to everyone who is undergoing drug rehabilitation, both by staff members and other patients alike. Anyone who feels they are not being treated in such ways should not be afraid to let their concerns be known so that they can be addressed.

It is possible that counselors and others who implement the drug rehabilitation programs may even encourage those who adhere to or acknowledge their cultural beliefs to use the strengths that can be found in every race or ethnicity to help them in their efforts to overcome their addiction and return to their homes and people stronger for their struggles.

http://crapo.senate.gov/issues/culture/NativeAmericansMeth.cfm
http://casaa.unm.edu/mod.html

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