Skip to content Skip to navigation

The healing of our people: substance abuse and historical trauma

TitleThe healing of our people: substance abuse and historical trauma
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMorgan, R, Freeman, L
JournalSubst Use MisuseSubst Use Misuse
Volume44
Pagination84-98
ISBN Number1532-2491 (Electronic)<br/>1082-6084 (Linking)
Accession Number19137484
KeywordsAdult, Alaska/epidemiology, Alcoholism/epidemiology/ethnology, Culture, Female, History, 19th Century, History, 20th Century, Humans, Indians, North American/ psychology, Male, Medicine, Traditional, Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology/ ethnology/ history, Suicide/ethnology/trends, Wounds and Injuries
AbstractFor the past two decades, one of the authors (Robert Morgan) has been involved in the development and implementation of culturally based outpatient, inpatient, and aftercare programs for Alaskan native and American-Indian populations in Alaska. After years of observation, it was concluded that the best efforts of our clinicians were inadequate to the task at hand, i.e., that of resolving the social and physical ills that have ravaged the Alaskan peoples since the occupation. Morgan and others sought to create a new model of diagnosis and treatment that combined the cultural strengths of the people with the technical and treatment skills of the conventional medical profession. The model was grounded in a clear understanding of the factors causing disease in the people, and that understanding came from the people themselves. Before the growth of the "healing plant" that Uncle Walter spoke of could be nurtured, it was necessary to first examine the question of cause and effect. Much of the cause is rooted in the "historical trauma" experienced by the Alaska Native People. The effects are numerous, but one of the most obvious symptoms is substance misuse.
Ethno Med: