August 28, 2008

Alcohol kills Indians

Study measures Indian deaths linked to alcoholAlmost 12 percent of the deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives are alcohol-related--more than three times the percentage attributed to the general population, a new federal report says.

The report released Thursday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says 11.7 percent of total deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives between 2001 and 2005 were alcohol-related, compared with 3.3 percent for the U.S. general population.

Dwayne Jarman, a CDC epidemiologist who works for the Indian Health Service and is one of the study's authors, said it is first national survey that measures American Indian deaths due to alcohol. It should be a "call to action" for federal, state, local and tribal governments, he said.

The study recommends "culturally appropriate clinical interventions" to reducing excessive drinking and better integration between tribal health care centers and tribal courts, which often deal with alcohol-related crimes.
Comment:  I'm pretty sure all the governments involved know about the alcohol problems already. But I guess another call to action can't hurt.

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