Killing to Save?

Written by on July 18, 2013

alcoholism pine ridge Indians

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

What are you willing to do to save a group of people you care for? Using the same poison that is killing your loved ones and shortening the lives of whole generations to fund the solution sounds extreme. For the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, this is a risk they are considering.

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has struggled with alcoholism, poverty and crime. Although alcohol has been banned at the reservation for the past century, surrounding towns and bootleggers manage to bring supply to the demand. The consequences have been disastrous:  Each household has at least one family member that drinks and a quarter of the children are born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Even more dismal is the shortened life expectancy, estimated between the ages of 45 to 52.

Despite all the problems, the Oglala Sioux tribal council is considering lifting the alcohol ban to use the money made to fund alcohol rehab treatment, prevention and education. There are mixed reviews on this idea. Some say that the easy accessibility will cause the problem to worsen. Others say that alcohol is present regardless and people who want to drink will find a way.

Tough Call

This group of people has a big problem on their hands and a big decision to make. Whatever they chose to do, it is going to take a lot of work and effort on everyone’s part to solve the issue. Hopefully, the tribe can figure it out soon before more of their people die.

Do you think lifting the alcohol ban can help the tribe? Share your thoughts on Recovery Connection’s Facebook page.

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