Curbing Addiction in Indigenous Communities Through Ancestral Wisdom

Start Your Addiction Recovery Today

Find Out How

Common Questions About Addiction Treatment

Check Out Our FAQ

Verify Your Insurance

Looking for effective treatment that’s also affordable? We accept most major insurance providers. Get a free insurance benefits check now.

Check Your Coverage​

Questions about treatment?

Get confidential help 24/7.
Reach out for more details about:
  • How we can help

  • Our location & programs

  • Insurance & payment options

Call 866-881-1184

Addiction can affect people from all walks of life, regardless of their cultural background. Native Americans may face unique challenges that contribute to higher rates of addiction, including historical trauma, socioeconomic disparities, lack of access to healthcare, and cultural factors. 

South Coast Behavioral Health is here to help. Our specialty addiction treatment programs for Native communities are a great way to turn things around and start living a healthy and happy life. 

Why Is Addiction in Indigenous Communities Such a Problem?

Addiction in indigenous communities exceeds that of the general population. Recent government data shows that nearly a quarter of Native Americans suffer from an addiction of some kind. This is compared to 17% of Americans as a whole. This shocking disparity highlights the need for drug rehab for Native Americans.

The main reason has to do with the hopeless conditions on the reservations. This includes things like:

  • Lower levels of education – indigenous youth are 237% more likely to drop out of school than white students. Only seven out of 100 will go on to college, as compared to 34 out of 100 white students. Studies show that higher educational attainment is positively correlated with a lower likelihood of substance addiction.
  • Lack of law enforcement – Violent crime rates on the country’s 310 Indian Reservations are roughly 2.5 times higher than the national average. The lack of effective law enforcement is one reason for this. Higher crime is positively correlated with substance abuse.
  • Higher rates of broken families – In 2015, 68% of Native American women between the ages of 15 and 50 living on a reservation gave birth out of wedlock. This rate was nearly twice that for all women of the same age range in the country as a whole. Illegitimacy and fatherlessness are high predictors of various problems later in life, including drug use.

There is even speculation that the historical trauma of having ancestral lands taken away may be playing a role through epigenetics, though this remains to be proven.

Research indicates that indigenous people who are seeking treatment for substance use disorders have significant concerns about their cultural identity and spirituality. Incorporating traditional healing methods like sweat lodges, drum circles, and powwows into treatment programs may help with harm reduction and improve the outcomes for these individuals. This can all be found at an indigenous recovery center.

The Connection Between Trauma and Substance Abuse

Addiction in indigenous communities has a lot to do with trauma. Trauma impacts the brain’s stress pathways and can alter the way individuals respond to stress and emotional regulation. These changes may make it harder for trauma survivors to cope with stress, leading to a higher risk of using drugs and alcohol.

Substance use among indigenous people such as alcohol, opioids, or other drugs often provide a temporary escape from painful memories and emotions that come with trauma. Unfortunately, this can lead to dependency, as the brain begins to rely on these substances to manage stress and emotional pain. This reliance can escalate into substance abuse disorder, where the use of substances becomes compulsive and detrimental to health and well-being.

Native Americans experience various forms of trauma at higher rates than the general population. Rates of violence, including domestic abuse, sexual assault, and other forms of violence are higher among Native Americans compared to other ethnic groups in the United States. Such experiences directly contribute to addiction in indigenous communities.

Looking For Substance Abuse Treatment?

Get confidential help from our addiction treatment specialists in Orange County. Call to join our rehab program today!

Call 866-881-1184

How Is Native American Addiction Treatment Different?

Drug rehab for Native Americans in Orange County and elsewhere differs from more mainstream forms of addiction treatment in a few key ways. With indigenous addiction treatment, there is a much greater emphasis on Native American cultural practices. This includes things like sweat lodges, storytelling, and vision quests.

Oftentimes, an indigenous recovery center will employ people of Native American backgrounds as counselors. This helps provide an extra level of cultural sensitivity to the program and adds a level of lived experience.

Finally, indigenous rehab programs typically adopt a holistic approach to treatment. That means addressing not just the physical aspects of addiction, but also the mental and spiritual dimensions as well.

However, it’s also important to note that these indigenous health programs are rigorous and follow an evidence-based spectrum of care, including:

  • Detoxification: Safe withdrawal from substances with medical supervision to ensure safety.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) help modify the patient’s thinking, behavior, and emotional responses associated with substance use.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Medications manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and treat co-occurring disorders.
  • Support Groups: Involvement in support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) that provide peer support and encourage sobriety.

These programs use medical and psychological research that applies broadly across populations without specific cultural tailoring.

What Is White Bison Wellbriety?

White Bison Wellbriety is a movement that treats addiction in indigenous communities. It does this by providing resources and support to Native American communities to overcome alcoholism and other addictions. The term “Wellbriety” signifies the pursuit of a sober life that is balanced emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. The White Bison organization, which leads this movement, is in Colorado Springs and has been active since the 1980s.

White Bison’s approach integrates traditional Native American spiritual principles and practices, as well as contemporary therapeutic methods, to support recovery and holistic wellness. They offer a variety of educational materials, training programs, and healing resources that are culturally specific to Native communities. This includes the Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps program, which adapts the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous to include Native American spiritual perspectives and healing practices.

The Wellbriety Movement is part of a broader initiative to address and heal intergenerational trauma, promote cultural revival, and build healthy, sustainable communities within Native American populations.

Verify Your Insurance

Looking for quality substance abuse treatment that’s also affordable? South Coast accepts most major insurance providers. Get a free insurance benefits check now.

Check Your Coverage​

Alcohol Rehab Program in Orange County, CA at SCBH

If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for alcoholism, South Coast Behavioral Health is here to help. The first step in treating alcohol addiction is a medical detox. This means using drugs to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Our medical detox program in California is staffed by compassionate and knowledgeable specialists who can provide you with medications to manage your withdrawal symptoms.

At South Coast, we take pride in offering care that is closely tailored to specific issues. It’s for that reason we offer gender-specific detox programs, with medical detox for women in Huntington Beach, CA., and medical detox for men in Irvine, CA.

After detoxing, proper treatment can begin.

Treatment for substance abuse in Southern California takes place along an entire spectrum of care. Along that entire spectrum is a mix of evidence-based therapy modalities, support groups, holistic therapy, and the use of medically assisted treatment (MAT).

These levels of treatment are, in order, as follows:

Residential Treatment in California

After completing medical detox, you’ll receive inpatient treatment for alcoholism in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling.

We also offer residential alcohol treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients receive round-the-clock care and monitoring while living at the institution full-time.

In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to recreational activities and family support services.

Partial Hospitalization in California

Most clients start alcohol abuse treatment with South Coast in our inpatient treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.

A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for several hours each day, returning to their homes in the evening.

This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California

For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Newport Beach is yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.

With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients in our IOP meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.

This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility.

Start Today

Even though the relation between substance abuse and native communities is complex, substance use among indigenous people can be treated. Addiction in indigenous communities is a real problem. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction but wonder how long addiction treatment takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea of what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have.

Read More About addiction Treatment & Recovery
Start Your Recovery Today at South Coast

At South Coast, our experts are dedicated to providing comprehensive information to help you make well-informed decisions for your health and happiness in recovery.

Contact us today if you are ready to begin your journey to recovery. Our team is available around the clock, so feel free to call us at any time.