Why the Drug and Alcohol Policy does not Work.
These are some “side-effects” of the Drug and Alcohol Policy
- Marijuana users turn to harder drugs to avoid detection times
- Increased Alcohol use leading to other health problems and death
- Increased use and abuse of legal drugs
- Increase in criminal activity to obtain prescription pills
- Increase in needle use to inject prescription drugs
- Increase in birth defects and addiction in newborn babies from legal drugs
- Unfair application of the policy
The single most negative effect of this policy is the inability to Provide Tribal Members with meaningful employment.
In 1992 our tribal community had a 95% tribal member employment rate which was instrumental in the Tribal-State Compact negotiations and provided tribes with a very legitimate reason to conduct gaming on reservation land.
In 1996, our government implemented the Drug and Alcohol Policy reducing the tribal member employment rate to about 60% tribal member employment.
This represents a total decrease of 35% in tribal membership employment.
Although the Policy was designed to “improve” social responsibility and accountability it has only lended itself to creating more “professional” type jobs, which most tribal members do not qualify to hold.
Tribal members who struggle with addiction, depression and suicide has only increased since the introduction of this policy.
We need to establish a program to help us with these issues but we do not need a policy that prohibits employment of tribal members.
Our number one policy of employing tribal members has fallen along the wayside and is no longer the #1 priority.
If tribal members are working this leaves less time for use and abuse of any drug or alcohol.
Let’s get back to employing our own! First, the rest will work itself out.