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One of the biggest concerns in the Native American community today is the overwhelming presence of alcoholism I was first informed of this by an old friend that I served with in the Marine Corps He had grown up on a reservation and had subsequently seen the horrors of this alcohol abuse firsthand Growing up Irish- American I felt a strong empathy for this problem and therefore felt it would be an appropriate topic for this essay Suzan Shown Hario of Indian Country Today wrote an outstanding article recounting the horrific death of a 21-year-old Muscogee woman who was run over by a car full of Native American men driving around drunk in Tulsa Oklahoma These men even went so far as to fabricate a story in which white racists had purposely murdered this woman falsely believing that she was Middle Eastern Fortunately this lie did not hold up with the authorities and the aforementioned guilty parties are now awaiting trial and will hope- fully be soon brought to justice Suzans article gives us an overview of all Native American problems stemming from alcohol abuse Studies show that the rate of alcoholism among Native Americans has been the highest in the nearly one hundred years running On October 4th the Health Human Services Department issued the results of its national survey of substance abuse in 2000 indicating that the rate of current illicit drug use was highest among the American Indian Alaska Native population at 126 percent compared with 64 percent each for whites and blacks 53 percent for Hispanics and 27 percent for Asians While these statistics indicate a very broad scope of the American Indian population I did come to find that
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