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Montana has at least nine Native American Reservations in the State. Several different Native American tribes live on them, all with their own unique cultural heritage and practices. The tribes represented on these reservations include the Blackfeet, Crow, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes, which are a combination of the two tribes just mentioned as well as the Pend D'Oreille tribe. Further, the Assiniboine, sometimes known as the Nakoda, and Sioux tribes, and the Gros Ventre, Chippewa, Northern Cheyenne, and Chippewa-Cree nations are represented.

Some of these practices may involve tribe members using small amounts of natural hallucinogenic substances (notice the word "natural") such as peyote, herbs that when prepared or used in a certain can have that effect, or even certain types of mushrooms in their religious ceremonies. This may seem odd to those who are not of Native American origin but in reality it is no different than, say, someone who is Catholic or Protestant taking Communion as part of their religious service.

That being said, there is nothing natural about taking any form of drug, natural or otherwise, in such large amounts or at such frequent intervals that an addiction occurs. Unfortunately, in Montana, just as in any other state, it does occur, and American Indian/Alaskan Natives are no more immune to it than anyone else.

A recent survey of substance abuse was conducted with 6,656 Montana residents. One of the categories asked for racial or ethnic origin, and this included "American Indian or Alaskan Native". Of all the races listed, which included White, Black or African-American, Asian or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and of course Other, and ethnicity groupings (Hispanic and Non-Hispanic), the majority of those who reported substance abuse admissions were whites and American Indian/Alaskan Native.

The admissions were for one or more of the following drugs: Alcohol, both used alone and "with secondary drug" as the survey listed it, cocaine, both smoked and ingested or taken through another method, heroin, and methamphetamine (meth). "Crack" or cocaine powder that has been mixed with liquid, then cooked and allowed to cool until it reaches a hardened substance resembling a small rock or piece of gravel is said to be used extensively by Native Americans/Alaskan Natives. This is the substance that is included in the category "Cocaine-smoked".

The survey also included how many of the residents participating in the survey used which drugs. This information was only broken down into type of drug and gender of those admitting use. Further, the substance abuse admissions numbers were broken down by age categories. Marijuana and alcohol were the two highest substances of abuse.

Luckily, there are drug and alcohol treatment centers which serve the residents of Montana. Those who operate and work at these centers do their best to make sure that any racial, cultural, or ethnic customs or practices are respected and accommodated as best as possible.

Just as with any other racial or ethnic group, American Indians/ Alaskan Natives also have different socioeconomic groups. Depending on which group a person needing substance abuse help falls in, it may seem as though addiction treatment may not be affordable. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers, however, have payment plans, which include adjusting fees according to a person's income. This is called a "sliding scale fee".
Other payment plans include acceptance of health insurance coverage, self-pay (the patient pays for all treatment, sometimes through the use of financial plans) and other types of payment options. This ensures that everyone who needs help for drug addiction has the opportunity to take advantage of these services.

The many services available in the drug and alcohol treatment centers should give no one an excuse not to seek help for substance abuse addiction. The staff members will work with everyone who is looking for help to see that they receive everything they need, while being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Montana Drug Rebab Centers and Montana Addiction Treatment Programs

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