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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Native American Spiritual Beliefs Influential in Spurring Youth to Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

This article caught my eye.

A group from Mexico is “caravanning” across the US to raise awareness of the enormous drug trafficking problems in Mexico that are at least in part related to illegal drug problems and violence in the US.***
The caravan  will be stopping in my hometown, Toledo OH, this coming Wednesday.
I seem to recall the leader, Mexican poet Javier Sicilia,  was features on a PBS News Hour segment a few months back.

To be honest, I am still pondering on whether or not illegal drugs should be made legal. Certainly the present system of incarceration is not working.
At the very least, treatment/prevention programs should be stepped up, replacing much of the current court system’s misguided efforts.
Even though our country has a strong tradition of the separation of church and state, I believe prevention/treatment ideally includes a spiritual/religious dimension.

Once promising area of research. Even though it only studies one broad culture, it does invite further study into other cultures.

Native American Spiritual Beliefs Influential in Spurring Youth to Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

From the 20 August 2012 article at Science News Daily

New research indicates that urban native American youth who follow American Indian traditional spiritual beliefs are less likely to use drugs and alcohol. Arizona State University social scientists will present their findings at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver, Colorado.

Among the general native American youth population, higher rates of substance (both drug and alcohol) abuse are reported than among their non-native American counterparts. They also are more likely to use heavier amounts, initiate substance use earlier, and have more severe consequences from substance use, according to past research.

Native Americans typically do not separate spirituality from other areas of their lives, making it a complex, cultural and intertwined aspect of their daily existence.

Researchers found that adherence to native American beliefs was the strongest predictor of anti-drug attitudes, norms, and expectations. Concerning substance use, aspects of spirituality and religion associated with lower levels of use were affiliation with the Native American Church and following Christian beliefs…

 

 

 

 

***From the flyer I rec’d the other day

 

The Caravan began its U.S. journey in San Diego on August 12. Nearly 80 Caravaneros will visit two dozen U.S. cities on the way to their final stop in Washington, D.C., in September.

Victims of the violence in Mexico will share their testimony of suffering and courage. From Jalisco, the mother of Jose Luis Arana Aguilar will speak of her son’s disappearance last January after making one last call to his children’s day care, reminding them to feed his children. From Coahuila, the girlfriend of Jose Antonio Robledo Fernandez will tell of how she heard the abductors of her boyfriend insult and beat him before he disappeared.

Leading the Caravan is Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, whose son, Juan Francisco, was brutally murdered last year. He then travelled with MPJD caravans in Mexico collecting stories of the destruction caused by the so-called war against drugs and organized crime, which the United States has funded with over $1.5 billion in military equipment and training. The result? As Sicilia writes, “The 60,000 deaths, the 10,000 disappearances, and the 160,000 internally displaced people during the past six years are tragedies caused directly by failed security policies.”

Though their grief knows no end or resolution, they are committed to telling their stories to the American public so that their humanity can move us to action. When the horrific statistics are seen in the pain, suffering, and courage of real people who are reaching out to the victims of the drug war north of the border, the foundation for change can be built.

Sicilia and other movement leaders believe that carrying the campaign across the border underscores the role of the United States. Drug war ideology was born here–putting an end to it must start here too.

What you can do: Come out to welcome and support the Caravan in Toledo!
#Follow the Caravan on twitter (@CaravanaUSA), Facebook, and the Caravan for Peace website. http://www.caravanforpeace.org/caravan Or http://www.globalexchange.org/mexico/caravan
#Global Exchange will also be sending updates while on the road at the People-to-People blog.
#Read the latest article on the Caravan in The Nation, August 7, 2012, “Can the Caravan of Peace end the War on Drugs?” by Tom Hayden
#Watch the Democracy Now interview, August 16, 2012, at http://www.democracynow.org: “Mexican Poet, Activist Javier Sicilia Brings Peace Caravan into U.S. to Condemn Deadly Drug War”

National sponsors include: American Friends Service Committee; Border Angels; Drug Policy Alliance; Fellowship of Reconciliation; National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities; Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Moms United; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; National Latino Congress; Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing (New PATH); School of Americas Watch. Local sponsors: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Toledo); Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition; CCUP Pax Christi. University of Toledo sponsors:
Program in Law and Social Thought; Women’s and Gender Studies Dept.;
Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society)

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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