The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Questions and Answers
by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian book cover
Start Your Free Trial

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?

Expert Answers info

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,967 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

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.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Robert C. Evans eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write2,994 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

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

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

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.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial