25 USC 2401 - Congressional findings

The Congress finds and declares that
(1) the Federal Government has a historical relationship and unique legal and moral responsibility to Indian tribes and their members,
(2) included in this responsibility is the treaty, statutory, and historical obligation to assist the Indian tribes in meeting the health and social needs of their members,
(3) alcoholism and alcohol and substance abuse is the most severe health and social problem facing Indian tribes and people today and nothing is more costly to Indian people than the consequences of alcohol and substance abuse measured in physical, mental, social, and economic terms,
(4) alcohol and substance abuse is the leading generic risk factor among Indians, and Indians die from alcoholism at over 4 times the age-adjusted rates for the United States population and alcohol and substance misuse results in a rate of years of potential life lost nearly 5 times that of the United States,

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(5) 4 of the top 10 causes of death among Indians are alcohol and drug related injuries (18 percent of all deaths), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (5 percent), suicide (3 percent), and homicide (3 percent),
(6) primarily because deaths from unintentional injuries and violence occur disproportionately among young people, the age-specific death rate for Indians is approximately double the United States rate for the 15 to 45 age group,
(7) Indians between the ages of 15 and 24 years of age are more than 2 times as likely to commit suicide as the general population and approximately 80 percent of those suicides are alcohol-related,
(8) Indians between the ages of 15 and 24 years of age are twice as likely as the general population to die in automobile accidents, 75 percent of which are alcohol-related,
(9) the Indian Health Service, which is charged with treatment and rehabilitation efforts, has directed only 1 percent of its budget for alcohol and substance abuse problems,
(10) the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which has responsibility for programs in education, social services, law enforcement, and other areas, has assumed little responsibility for coordinating its various efforts to focus on the epidemic of alcohol and substance abuse among Indian people,
(11) this lack of emphasis and priority continues despite the fact that Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service officials publicly acknowledge that alcohol and substance abuse among Indians is the most serious health and social problem facing the Indian people, and
(12) the Indian tribes have the primary responsibility for protecting and ensuring the well-being of their members and the resources made available under this chapter will assist Indian tribes in meeting that responsibility.