A Race at Risk: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Native Americans have a higher rate of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) than any other group in the United States. FAS is the direct result of a woman's drinking of alcohol during pregnancy. It should be no surprise that in the United States the group with the highest rate of alcoholism is the same group with the highest rate of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Although there is no cure for FAS, it is completely preventable. Education and awareness on the reservations are the first lines of defense against FAS for Native Americans. Government involvement and assistance are available and have proven to be effective.
There is a direct relationship between the rate of alcoholism and FAS. According to the Center for Desease Control catchment study incidences of FAS per 10,000 total births according to wthinc groups were as follows: Asians 0.3, Hispanics 0.8, whites 0.9,
blacks 6.0 and Native Americans 29.9 (CDC 498). The difference within certain tribes the FAS percentages are as staggering. Women make up one forth to one half of all Alaskan Native alcoholics. In turn, the rate of FAS among Alaskan Natives is twice the United States average (Brems 1995; 1996). A study on alcoholism that included the Pueblo, Plains Indians and the Navajo showed evidence of FAS in all three tribes. The Plains Indian's rate of FAS (per 1000) was 19.5%. This rate is three times higher than the Navajo and the Pueblo (May 286). An unanticipated finding in a Native American Substance abuse survey was the alarming rate of alcohol-damaged children born to one mother. For instance, eighty-five FAS children were born to 65 mothers within the Native American studies (May 286).
Due to the increasing numbers of alcohol usage among Young Native American Indians they are risk...