IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention

The People’s Path


Some Hard Questions

  • Why do Native Americans have such an alcohol problem – in comparison to the other ethnic groups of the U.S.?
  • What are the traditions our people have for maintaining an honorable path in life?
  • What is the modern Warrior’s Path as we sort-out leading a genuine lifestyle?
  • How does one stay sober and maintain the path?
  • How do we maintain our traditions as we become more educated?

These questions aren’t answered easily – but we work individually to help you on your path in life, and recovery.


Some Brief Statistics about Substance Use Among American Indian or Alaska Native Adults

  • The rate of past month alcohol use was lower among American Indian or Alaska Native adults than the national average for adults (43.9 vs. 55.2 percent); the rates of past month binge alcohol use and illicit drug use, however, were higher among American Indian or Alaska Native adults than the national averages (30.6 vs. 24.5 percent and 11.2 vs. 7.9 percent, respectively)
  • The percentage of American Indian or Alaska Native adults who needed treatment for an alcohol or illicit drug use problem in the past year was higher than the national average for adults (18.0 vs. 9.6 percent)
  • One in eight (12.6 percent) American Indian or Alaska Native adults in need of alcohol or illicit drug use treatment in the past year received treatment at a specialty facility; this rate did not differ significantly from the national average of 10.4 percent.

Download pdf:  Substance Use Among AI Adults


To provide a meaningful substance abuse prevention program for Native Americans, we offer individual, group, and family oriented interventions:

  • Individual assessment
  • The People’s Path Group – meets Weekly
  • Alcohol and drug abuse assessment
  • Traditional Sweat Lodge
  • Various Native oriented groups or seminars
  • Referrals to a trusted, local – traditional healer

Individual Counseling

Alcohol and Drug abuse often accompany other factors. Through individual counseling we can help you deal with past issues, alcoholic family issues, traumas, and present events.

Individual Assessment

If you have personal questions about possible addictive or dependency related behaviors, you can make an appointment for an individual assessment with our clinically experienced counselor. This might include substance and/or psychological assessment and discussion about family life experiences.

Traditional Sweat Lodge

One of the traditional ceremonies that maintains one’s center and sobriety is the traditional Sweat Lodge. We offer several sweats throughout each semester, with guest leaders from different tribes.

Various Native Oriented Groups or Seminars

We offer culture-specific groups that address some common problem areas for Native people.

The People’s Path

The traditional name that most tribes have for themselves is translated as “The People.” We take this as a part of our program name to identify ourselves as a Path of sobriety for our Indian people. Similar to “The Red Road,” for older Native Americans in substance abuse recovery, we offer an educational oriented group for Native college students at IAIA. The People’s Path Group is a 10 week psycho-educational program addressing the common problems associated with abuse on campus. Meetings are T.B.A.

“The White Buffalo” Native American Alcoholics Anonymous

IAIA students host this alcoholics anonymous weekly meeting in the CLE Breakout Room 2, Wednesday evenings, 7:00-8:00pm.


Call for an appointment with our substance abuse counselor

Greer McSpadden, LISW

office – 505-424-5758

cell: 505-231-9577

e-mail: gmcspadden@iaia.edu

– Or drop by my office in the CLE Building



Alcoholics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous


Download Information

An interesting article on the research about “Most Adults with Alcohol Problems Do Not Recognize their Need for Treatment.” A quick learn on DENIAL.

Alcohol & Drug Treatment with the Criminal Justice System. If you get busted, here are some choices and what to do.

“Above the Influence” Poster, resisting the peer pressure to use.

“Above the Influence” Poster, Stop Getting High.