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The stereotype is dead: Researchers show that Native Americans drink less than whites

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This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

The stereotype of the Native American alcoholic dates all the way back to colonialism, but a new study may help to debunk that myth. Most Native Americans actually abstain from alcohol, and those who do drink are on average lighter drinkers than whites, finds the study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Drug Dependence.

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Researchers from the University of Arizona used nationwide survey data to compare the drinking habits of more than 4,000 Native Americans to 170,000 white people. They found that about 60 percent of Native Americans did not drink, compared to 43 percent of whites. Native Americans were also more likely than whites to be “light/moderately-only” drinkers. Both groups showed similar binge drinking habits, with around 17 percent of each population reporting to have consumed five or more drinks one-to-four times over the previous month.

The study helps to shatter the notion that Native Americans are genetically more susceptible to alcoholism than other groups. In a 2015 article explaining how the violent colonial occupation of North America contributed to alcoholism among Native Americans, Influence columnist Maia Szalavitz dissected the popular narrative that European colonizers introduced indigenous people to booze and widespread alcoholism followed, due to their supposed genetic susceptibility.

“The apogee of victim-blaming, the idea that genetic ‘inferiority’ causes native peoples to be particularly susceptible to addiction was not falsifiable when it was initially spread,” Szalavitz wrote. “But even now that it has been disproven, the myth obscures the real causes of addiction and the starring roles that trauma and the multiple stresses of inequality can play in creating it.”

The latest study adds to the evidence against this tenacious fallacy and the harmful stereotype it generates.

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This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Making things worse’: National Farmer’s Union chief unloads on Trump in blistering statement on trade war

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Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union, delivered a blistering rebuke to President Donald Trump after he responded to new tariffs from China by issuing a purported "order" telling American companies to look for alternative places to manufacture their goods.

In an official statement, Johnson pointed out that farmers so far have felt the brunt of the president's trade war, as China has slapped heavy tariffs on key agricultural products such as soybeans.

He also crushed the president for failing to make any progress on reopening the Chinese market to American goods.

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Doctors treat Ruth Bader Ginsburg for tumor on her pancreas: SCOTUS spokesperson

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week had underwent a procedure to treat a tumor from her pancreas, a court spokesperson tells Washington Post reporter Robert Barnes.

According to the Court, "the tumor was treated definitively" with radiation "and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body."

The 86-year-old Ginsburg late last year underwent surgery to treat lung cancer and she returned to the bench this past February.

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REVEALED: Trump associate Felix Sater gave Osama bin Laden’s phone numbers to the feds

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The Russian businessman Felix Sater has been linked to Trump family enterprises for years. He was central to the effort to bring Trump Tower to Moscow. He also worked on the Trump SoHo condominium hotel in the mid-aughts.

During that time, Sater also worked as an informant for the FBI and CIA and aided prosecutors on various cases. He started working with the FBI in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme, reports the Wall Street Journal.

That's been previously reported. But what the WSJ found is that a letter just unsealed from the government praises Sater for being an especially good collaborator.

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