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The concept that profits directed from oil companies do not solve problems the people make for themselves

I am a new resident of Alaska. Because of my job I have witnessed first hand how some natives treat themselves and waste the money they are given that comes from the resources of Alaska.

I work as a security guard in Fairbanks Alaska. I know about the money natives receive both from the PFD and from the payments given from the tribes themselves. Some of these natives spend the money on Alcohol or waste it in other ways.

It is a shame to see but those who think that such money can solve problems fail to take into account the fact that some will choose just to waste such resources and destroy themselves in the process.

Many natives die young because of alcohol abuse as well as other drugs.

I see it first hand and it is a sad thing to see.

  • Oct 11 2013: I have yet to meet a native up here who didn't have at least an Auntie or an uncle around. Although I have met many aunties and uncles who are more addicted to alcohol than any of the younger ones.

    I don't get the sense that there is a lot of "abuse" in their lives. Bad examples but not a lot of abuse seem to be a big part of the problem.

    A lot of the older ones are no older than myself but look so much older. Countless times I see them drunk. Sometimes they have blood alcohol levels so high it is a miracle they do not die. Sometimes they do die.

    There is a halfway house near to Fairbanks and the prisoners there come into town on a van to work or do other things including go to counseling. Often times when they get out they get drunk and continue a self destructive lifestyle.

    It seems to me that the effect white culture has had on the native tribes here may be a substantial cause of many of the addictions the natives here have trouble escaping, never mind the cold temperatures and the natural lack of things to do besides drink. One older native told me that when he was young and living in the village he looked around and realized that there was nothing to do but drink. He told himself if he didn't get out of there he would be dead by 40. He said his friends that did not leave were in fact all dead by 40.
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    Oct 10 2013: And, has anybody checked for the reasons what causes the natives to struggle? Do the victims of alcohol abuse receive any help, so that they can recover? Are there preventive measures in place?
    • Oct 10 2013: Yes, they receive help from their tribes, from private charities (available at the local rescue mission and other sources) as well as government programs set up to deal with intoxicated natives that are arrested.

      They often have family that will encourage them to stop drinking or doing drugs. They simply will not stay away from addictive substances.

      For instance one young man I knew.... He came to the transit station on his birthday drunk out of his mind, walking in front of buses. I arrested him and called the CSP Community Service Patrol (a private security organization that patrols the downtown areas and deal with drunks, taking them to sleep off, the hospital, "home" or the drunk tank as needed.)

      They took him home. The next time I saw him he was sober and undergoing counseling to get off the booze. (he had also started smoking pot to get over the cravings for booze) He seemed to be doing well for a while. One day I saw him he was a little more nervous than usual. I found out later he had robbed a store to get money for booze and was wanted by the police. I haven't seen him since.

      Others bounce between counseling and partying. It is a sad thing to see.
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        Oct 10 2013: I understand what you are saying and the chances are low to get people off an addiction, which is definitely sad to see. No doubt.

        Yet as I agree with Gabor Maté (linked video) about the cause of addiction, the help I meant got to take place BEFORE the addiction is formed. This isn't an easy task, as it takes a close society to identify early child abuse or other mistreatment within families, to react on it accordingly.

        Partying isn't the problem and it is absolutely normal that young people need some time to find their right balance towards alcohol or other drugs. The problem occurs if there is no other corrective, no loving adult who takes care for them instead to condemn them.

        When I turned 15 and started to get interested in what alcohol may be like, my mother did a very wise thing. She talked with me about it and asked me if I wanted to give it a try. Of course I wanted, so she made a deal with me. I could invite my friends who were also interested, my mother would sponsor the alcohol, yet under one condition only - my friends and I had to party at our place. No problem at all, and all of us youngsters had our first hangover experience. My mom knew exactly when it was time to take care of us, and so she brought buckets right in time ... :o) Before the party started, she of course contacted the parents of my friends to ask their permission for our 'experiment' and all of them agreed.

        It helped in several ways. We had a lot of fun. We got to experience what alcohol does. We got to experience our limits. Alcohol became no taboo by prohibition and lost its 'rebellion' potential against adults. We came to see its 'downside' and suffered the consequences ...

        But what if a child does not have parents who care for it? When there is no emotional support whatsoever? Modern societies as ours are increasingly failing to provide a strong, caring and correcting environment for children in need. We get to recognize them, when it is already to late. Thats a problem.