A Dose of Reality for Native American Communities

FACT: Nonmedical use of opioids in Native American youth occurs two-to-three times more than with other ethnic groups.

Generational trauma within families and Native American communities can lead to Adverse Childhood Experiences that can put Native American youth at higher risk for developing addictions to opioids, heroin and other substances. Communities can come together to fight and prevent addiction. Culture is prevention.

What the Community can do

  • Understand that generational trauma is likely to contribute to the risk of addiction and address generational trauma in our families and community
  • Seek ways to engage young people in our culture and community to generate pride and connection
  • Respect our elders and their medications – it is illegal to share or steal prescriptions
  • Realize that prevention is possible and join together to educate
  • Encourage those misusing medications to seek help and support treatment
  • Teach families about Adverse Childhood Experiences and what we can all do to take action with those at-risk
  • Adverse childhood experiences are: stressful or traumatic events, such as abuse, neglect, and witnessing household




These materials may be accessed on the DOSE OF REALITY Online Ordering Portal at no charge and many of them are customizable (i.e., you may add your organization’s name and/or logo).

Native American Communities Fact Sheet

Parent/Caregivers Fact Sheet

Elders/Families Fact Sheet