Re: Central America
28 Mar 1995 19:05:01 GMT

In article <>,
Bonedaddy <> writes:

>On Fri, 24 Mar 1995, Jack Davis wrote:
>> Alcoholism has been a huge problem for all Native American groups with
>> which I am familiar. Is there a genetic link? Maybe the fact that
>> Europeans have been consuming alcohol a lot longer than have Native
>> Americans who seem to not have had alcohol until the European colonization.
>> I suspect, therefore, that Euro-Americans have a bit more tolerance to
>> low-alcohol drinks than do natives, although purified alcohol has only
>> existed for what, 800 or 900 years, and now reeks havoc on us as well. At
>> some rituals I have witnessed in Mexico, the natives certainly did like to
>> get smashed. Prior to alcohol, drug consumption was a big activity. It
>> might not be genetic, it might just be a different attitude about how one
>> gets in touch with the gods.
>Then again it may be prevalent amongst native Americans due to their
>lower socio-economic status in general. Possibly the above reason was
>valid in the past but today higher alcoholic rates amongst natives is in
>my opinion a social factor rather than a religious one.

Please correct me if I'm way off base, but I understand that Asiatic/ Native
American populations lack or are slightly deficient in an alcohol processing
enzyme of some sort. It causes the alcohol to be processed differently in the
body, mainly by not processing it gradually as it is ingested but in a "lump
sum" once a tolerance boundary is broken.
Tony Waldron