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the absolute true diary of a part time indian by sherman alexiewhat are the causes of...

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nkapp87 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 6, 2011 at 12:00 PM via web

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the absolute true diary of a part time indian by sherman alexie

what are the causes of alcoholism in the native americans compared to the U.S. population? is is physical or psychological? and are native americans susceptible to alcoholism?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 6, 2011 at 12:22 PM (Answer #2)

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One of the non-physical causes is despair.  Native Americans are caught between cultures.  It is hard for them to assimilate into and get ahead in mainstream American culture.  At the same time, however, they do not have alternative ways of getting ahead in their own culture.  So they are stuck sort of wanting both cultures and not really being able to get ahead completely in either.

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 19, 2011 at 12:03 PM (Answer #3)

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Some scientists have suggested that there may indeed be a genetic component in susceptibility to alcoholism, although this is obviously an issue that needs much greater exploration.  Ironically, if it did turn out that susceptibility to alcoholism did have a large genetic component, alcoholism might be easier to treat through medical interventions and perhaps even, eventually, through gene therapy.  Here are two links that may be of interest:

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh22-4/253.pdf

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh301/3-4.htm

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 7, 2012 at 10:40 PM (Answer #4)

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Alcoholism is genetic. Since there is a smaller gene pool among Native Americans, especially in a specific tribe, it makes sense that the condition would be inherited by a large number of the population. I agree that depression and lack of possibilities leads to drink as well.

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