Title

Characteristics of Problem Drinking in an Urban South American Indigenous Population

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2010

Publication Title

Substance Use and Misuse

DOI

10.3109/10826081003682891

Abstract

This 2002 Medcen Foundation-funded study explored characteristics of problem drinking among 211 urban Venezuelan Native Americans of Arawak origin. Prevalence of problem drinking using Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests was 88.5% among men and 17.3% among women. Periodic binge drinking was marked by loss of control, failure to meet obligations, and alcohol-related trauma. Focus group participants noted that previous occasional binge drinking by men has been replaced by frequent male and female heavy weekend drinking, violence, and death. Limitations and implications are discussed. Awareness of high levels of problem drinking and desire for assistance present compelling mandates for community intervention efforts.